Okay, I know we were meant to have put Milan behind us but it really would be a shame to move on without first reflecting on some of the great new lighting designs premiered at this event.
Filling halls 9,11, 13 and 15 at the Salone del Mobile, Euroluce is an exhibition held every two years (Kitchen and Bathroom is presented on the alternate years). With many of the worlds biggest lighting brands in attendance and a huge number of lesser ones (with well over 400 brands were on show), the draw on Milan's electricity grid must be massive for the duration of the week. Unlike the furniture stands lighting is a breeze to walk around as just about everything is between waist and head height and easy to see dispite the crowds. Companies go to enormous lengths to create visually impactful stands but this year it was Ron Gilad's minimal gallery approach for Flos that won the most plaudits.
The all white box approach led to more than a few people missing the stand entirely (okay, that was me). With dedication however, we did track it down on the second visit to Euroluce and marvelled in Gilad's clever use of fine lines and flat planes.
“The stand functions as a meeting point between two worlds that tend to contradict one another: the commercial and the artistic. My goal was to construct a 'bridge' that brings these two edges together”.
Luckily for Flos their new products were every bit a match for the quality of the stand, with designs by Michael Anastassiades, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Antonio Citterio, Piero Lissoni, Jasper Morrison, Philippe Starck and Patricia Urquiola. were all revealed (her minimal 'Serena' lamp is shown left), together with a large range of new Architectural products.
Artemide showed an interesting array of lighting this year particularly from their sister brand, Danese, including the spectacular snake-like 'Hydra' by Carlotta de Bevilacqua. Able to transfer light from place to place like a glowing water pipe, the design provides endless possibilities for imaginative designers, with a range of 5metres and two types of dispersion heads - wide and focused - released initially.
Equally unusual but adapting old school technology to a new use were the 'Les Danseuses' lights by Swiss designers Atelier Oï. The fabric pendant lamps rotate, changing shape from a drooping tulip shape to a flared skirt as the velocity increases.
The third Danese product that stood out was the 'Stab' range of glass pendant lights by Arik Levy. Levy's concept also formed the basis of a vase collection for Danese, again called 'Stab', with similar glass forms although smaller in size and inverted so that they could sit in blocks of timber on a table or shelf.
Davide Groppi released what they described as a "contemplative light" called 'Pablo' whose colour can be altered by an RGB controller to suit the mood and interior. More of an artwork than a light source, the fitting is designed to lean against a wall much in the same way as artists casually lean their canvases against the walls in their studio.
Also designed with art in mind, 'Masai' by Maurizio Mancini is an extremely minimal LED light that is designed to illuminate artworks in an extremely subtle by highly controlled way. The reflector of the floor lamp is only 10mm wide but rotates to direct the light to precise positions. The lamp is a tribute to Alberto Giacometti and his exceedingly thin sculptural figures.
Michael Anastassiades also released new lights for his eponimos brand and continued his unrivalled use of balancing forms and fine lines. To say he is the master of this style is an understatement.
Amongst all the minimalism it was nice to come across the occasional bit of romanticism. Sebastian Herkner's 'Nebra' pendant lights for FontanaArte use thick moulded glass forms that encapsulate the light source like abstract petals of a closed flower. The muted colours worked beautifully as a group.
The Czech glass lighting specialist Lasvit has had a big presence at Euroluce in recent years and this year was no exception. The presentation called Temple of Light revealed the varied capabilities of this incredible Czech glass company. Releasing a huge range of new lighting designs, the brand's stand was over-run with people wanting to see the interactive Supernova installation by Petra Krausova. Along with the jewel-like cut glass pendants of Jan & Henry (Jan Plechac & Henry Wielgus) called 'Polygon' (right), the brand released two new lighting designs by the Campana Brothers, 'Candy' and 'Fungo', plus 'Das Pop' lights by Maarten Baas, 'Hats' by Studio deFORM and the exquisite 'Bonbon' pendant by Maria Culenova Hostinova.
To seem them all including the Supernova in action check out the video below.
Carlo Colombo created an intriguing new table and wall mounted task light for FontanaArte this year but his designs for Penta had a luxury emphasis. His earlier 'Glo' design for Penta became the 'Glo 4EVER' with the addition of real gold plating and a new table version, while his new 'Je Suis' combined blown glass, marble and brass in the two strong geometric forms - the sphere and the cylinder. Rather than follow the highly fashionable minimalist look, however, Colombo's designs for Penta are glossy and opulent.
Penta also released the 'Lula' range of table and floor lights in brass and glass by Umberto Asnago (shown below)
The 'Shape Up' design by Ladies and Gentleman studio can be purchased as single pendants with a choice of 5 shade types or in combinations of three or five lighting forms with a continuous cable and hanging system between them. The prolific Seattle (and now also New York) based studio released more new lighting designs during New York Design Week.
B.Lux is a Spanish lighting company based in the Basque area in the north of west of the country. Their dual shade 'Aspen S17' pendant lights by Werner Aisslinger come in a range of carefully selected colours including snow, grey, lemon, mango, turquoise and aqua so that different combinations can be created. The 'Aspen' family of lights include floor, ceiling and several shapes of pendant light.
The 'Superlunar' lights by Victor Vasilev for Oluce comes in wall floor and table versions and feature a fine vertical LED that throws light back into the dome metal shade.
Although there were 400 stands at Euroluce there were also the odd lighting release that came from furniture brands and designers who were exhibiting elsewhere during Salone. The following examples were shown outside of Euroluce but were too good to leave out of the line up.
Dechem studio, uses local Czech glass in many of their designs. Their new 'Bandasky' pendants (left) were shown in the young design basement section of Rossana Orlandi. Sharing the basic form with an earlier glass vessel collection of the same name, 'Bandasky' combines a refined version of the jam jar shape with touches of polished metal.