Iridescence

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Iridescence is a property of a material that gives a surface the appearance of changing colors depending on the angle of view or level of lighting.  It’s the flash of colors and optical phenomenon we see in something as mundane as soap bubbles. Other examples in nature of iridescence are sea shells, bird feathers, fish scales, butterfly wings, and certain minerals.

Today you can find iridescence in tiles, paints, clothing, shoes, and even make up.  The lustrous spectrum of colors and flash of rainbows make iridescence an enticing color surface.  In architecture we see iridescence often in glass tile with different levels of subtlety.  We are now seeing it in large metal panels, window glass, and other places where a sense of depth and vitality is needed on a flat plane.

What I find intriguing about iridescence is that it appears manmade or almost “space age,” yet its origin is in nature. We are just now are learning ways to bring its beauty into architecture.

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