Lehar: India’s Futurist Architecture Lights Up

My following article below was originally published by SERIOUS WONDER:

Lehar 5

As grand as the second industrial revolution was, resulting in magnificently large and complex structures in all regions of the world, where it lacked was in beauty. Granted, beauty is a subjective observation, but in this case beauty is being defined insofar as a sense of wonder and awe. Certainly large skyscrapers, reaching thousands of feet in the air, developed a sense of awe, but not so much in wonder.

The aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is a great example of the juxtaposition of both wonder and awe. It not only forces you to stare at its awesome strangeness, but also forces you to wonder of its natural properties and of what other beauties preside in the sky. Until recently, when it comes to architecture, unfortunately, we were left with very little to wonder about. Thanks to architecture and design company Orproject, however, we’re witnessing a shift in tides with their latest piece – Lehar.

“Lehar creates an identity which is visible from far, yet unobtrusive for the sales experience. It is a contemporary formation of colour and light which reflects India in the 21st century.” – Orproject

Lehar 2

Also known as “The Colours of India,” the Lehar has been permanently installed for the Delhi Duty Free area at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Terminal 3 Departure Zone. Its dichroic film creates a volume of wave-like patterns of color and light, acting as an artistic decomposition of sunlight above the passersby. In essence, the cloudy patterns gives off a similar effect as that of the aurora borealis – the capturing of awe in its wondrous beauty from afar.

“The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.” – Albert Einstein

More Images of the Lehar

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Lehar 3

Lehar 1

Lehar 4


The Lehar’s ability to create both awe and wonder is crucial in helping us better understand what was missing in old, 20th century architecture. It wasn’t enough to simply recognize something larger than ourselves; we needed something to make us feel like we could reach out as well. Futurist architecture will be not only be colorful and beautiful to look at, but will change our perceptions of what can be accomplished.

If an airport in India can force local passersby to stop and wonder about locations enveloped in undulated patterns of color and light, imagine what we could create in the scale of skyscrapers, entire fields, spacecrafts, and so on. We will engineer our own Northern Lights!


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