I first came across the work of the glamourous Czech designer, Lucie Koldova in 2011 when Poliform used her 'Muffin' lights on their stand at Salone. Since then I have noticed her work with increasing regularity. As you would expect, much of her work is for Czech manufacturers such as the lighting companies Brokis and Lasvit but since 2013 she has also been designing for the Belgian brand, PER/USE and the French label, Haymann Editions. Her work generally involves the wrapping of one layer in another with glass being a particularly favourite but ever since her first designs in the mid 2000's she has experimented with various materials including fibreglass and cork.
Koldova graduated from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague in 2009, and moved to Paris shortly after. Koldova won both the Czech Grand Design Awards 'Discovery of the year' in 2010 and was the winner of the Elle Decor Award. Already on the road to a successful career by this time, she started her own studio in 2012 and has regularly collaborated with the Israeli designer, Dan Yeffet. Their first major collaboration was on the 'Muffin' lamps for Gallery S. Bensimon that were first shown in 2011. An immediate success, the lamps not only launched the two designers to an audience outside France and the Czech Republic but also highlighted the abilities of Czech manufacturers.
Her 'Wrap' range of coffee and side tables for Czech brand Lugi, released in Milan in 2013, combined solid timber and fine plywood to remove the usual reliance on spindly legs. Available in natural oak or stained in white, red or yellow, the tables have a truly unique personality.
Koldova's work for Lasvit started in 2013 with her highly acclaimed 'Spin' lights. Based around the shape of a child's spinning top, the lights are finished off with a metal cap that holds the LED light source. This way no bulb is visible through the transparent tinted glass.
Another design for Lasvit shown in 2013 was her limited edition leather clad 'Bondage' lamp. The combination of leather and glass works beautifully but has a slightly disconcerting air…….how does the leather hold the glass in place? On closer inspection it can be seen that glass was blown into four metal bands that are covered with leather, as is the cable to complete the illusion.
Koldova designed the 'Duo' tables in 2013 with Dan Yeffet. Released by French brand Haymann Editions, the tables appear to float in mid air due to the transparency of the base component. The delicately coloured tables are made using multi-part moulds with the two finished domes being joined by a timber plug in the middle. The top is a spun metal tray that can be removed to allow objects to be placed in the top bowl if desired.
Koldova and Yeffet have also collaborated on two projects for the French brand, La Chance. Their weighty marble floor standing mirror 'Iconic' (also available with a timber base) was included in the brand's debut collection in 2012 and was joined the following year by another marble and glass product - the 'Apollo', a helmut shaped LED light designed for use on either the floor or table.
In 2014 Koldova designed two new pieces for the young Belgian brand, PER/USE. Shown as prototypes during Milan Design Week, the floor lamp 'Belle' and the 'Corques' sofa are now in full production. Inspired by a bell tower, the name of the lamp also plays on the Italian word for beautiful - 'bella'. Handmade from copper by artisans, the simple open form has been given a glossy finish to add 'a luxurious timeless appeal'.
Milled from production leftovers collected from Portuguese bottle corking factories, the 'Corques' sofa contrasts its solid outer shell with a soft interior. Similarly the natural coloured cork is juxtaposed by colourful upholstery in Kvadrat Divina fabric. An armchair version is also available.