Euroluce: from nature to technology
The lengthier rhythm of Euroluce, with its biennial cadence, is evident in the marking of new design trends. While the external reality of the Salone del Mobile.Milano has changed a great deal since 2017, a certain clarity shines through the lighting world. For example, the distinction between decorative lighting, which is more sculptural and artistic (the installation is its apotheosis) and architectural lighting, which deals, almost invisibly, with the quality of the environments.
More space is given over in the fairground pavilions to the first line of research, decorative lighting There is a marked trend towards one might define as “à la Anastassiades,” given the obvious referencing of the great Anglo-Cypriot designer, with his rods and spheres, pure lines and geometric shapes. Let us start with the designer himself, with the rarefied lines of Mobile c or other aerial mechanisms displayed on the stand that bears his name. Just as standout is the powerfully symbolic dimension of Andrea Anastasio’s new lamp (Madre) for Foscarini, with its hollow, accommodating shape, suggestive of the metaphor of a light in the womb. The young Polish designer Zsuzsanna Horvath, discovered at SaloneSatellite, has sculpted an aerial laser-engraved multilayer object (Illan) for Luceplan.
Madre for Foscarini by Andrea Anastasio
Rediscovering the past
The lighting world is also looking back in time with relish. Past masterpieces, which have achieved real totemic value, are back. Tato, for example is revisiting cult objects such as the Arenzano a Tre Fiamme lamp, designed by Ignazio Gardella for Azucena in 1963, while Santa&Cole has brought back the Tatu periscope table lamp, designed by André Ricard in 1972. The lessons of the past also become a formal basis for new research, as is clear when comparing Roberto Menghi‘s iconic Libra Lux table lamp (1948), now produced by Nemo, with Berhard Osann’s Bird for the same company and applying the same principle of balance, achieved by means of a counterweight. Not everything derives from such direct references. A certain decorative approach is also drawn from the ambiences of the past. Marcel Wanders has perched butterflies and blossoming tulips atop the classical structure of his Murano glass chandelier (Adonis for Barovier & Toso).
IVY by Lucie Koldova
Surrounded by nature
The dominant trend at Euroluce 2019 is undoubtedly the referencing of the natural world. The Czech group Brokis, has come up with IVY, designed by Lucie Koldova, which directly references the plant world, suggesting the horizontal and vertical growth of the branches of trees. On the other hand, Arturo Álvarez draws on the seabed, underwater plants and (wooden) fish bristling with quills for his Aimei pendant light for Calor Color. A similar naturalistic mechanism has sent Arik Levy in the direction of raw crystals and the sort of neo-primitivism that is already an acknowledged furnishing trend, but which becomes even more astonishing when channelled by glass and light (Cristal Rock Raw for Lasvit). Cristina Celestino is inspired by tubers and burgeoning buds for the two new lamps – Oppio and Lilly – that mark the start of her collaboration with Kundalini. Basically, nature is being
narrated at Euroluce contemporaneously with the XXII edition of the Triennale di Milano, but in a rather more poetic and positive vein. Catellani&Smith have gone for a macro rendition, inspired by the solar system, no less, using lightweight circles dotted with 56 small silicon-covered LEDs to create a sphere that is as huge (120 cm) as it is light (56 Petits Bijoux).
Mito Largo by Occhio
Less shape, more magic
Don’t imagine, however, that the wave of ramifications from the quest for new applications for LED sources has ceased. The miniaturisation of sources has led to the creation of formally minimalistic objects that nevertheless achieve an impressive evocative glow (and performance). This holds good for Occhio’s large Mito Largo floor arc lamp, with its carbon shaft, as well as for Lumina’s Tia glass-bodied table lamp which looks mysteriously ‘empty’. The addition of integral soundproofing panels (supplied by Caimi Brevetti) to Massimo Farinatti’s Hush for Martinelli Luce makes for increased comfort alongside quality of light. XLight by Michele Reginaldi for Firmamento Milano is still minimal, but large enough to qualify as a real ‘domestic sculpture’ with its 187-centimetre-high double X, and light sources poetically incorporated into the structure.
Salt&Pepper by Tobias Grau
This trend towards formal reduction offset by increased efficiency and complete with ‘surprise lighting’ is exemplified by the portable Parrot and Salt&Pepper lamps from Tobias Grau; powered by batteries with a 100-hour life making wires surplus to requirements!
A solution (a real Egg of Columbus) to the eternal problem of light distribution from ceiling lights has finally arrived in the shape of the Tube system (named after the English underground system), conceived by Ichiro Iwasaki for Vibia: it is a system of connecting tubes that conducts the light everywhere from a single electrical connection point.