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March 2012

Light Stories

« For over a century, lamps have been designed to operate with only one light source: an incandescent bulb. But for some time now, environmental regulations have forced this marvel of centennial technology to retire. In retrospect, when Edison overwhelmed the market with his first bulbs in 1892, he signalled the end of gas lighting. Similarly, today we are turning our backs to incandescent light sources and entering into the era of electronic lighting (…) It is not surprising then, that this domain is THE area for today’s designers to focus on,” explained Robert Klanten, who runs publishing house Gestalten, who have just published the book “LUX, Lamps & Lights” (distributed in French by Thames & Hudson).


Light Stories: Designers of Light

Swarm Study / III by
rAndom International 2011
(S.Wood, F. Ortkrass, H. Koch)

Text : Marie Le Fort


Ancestors: fire, candle
Language: Watt
Sources: sun, fire, wax, oil, gas, oil, electricity…
Speed: 299 792 458 ms-1

Light Stories: Designers of Light

Throughout all of these propositions, it is clear that the Scandinavians are always one step ahead of the game. Is this related to lack of daylight that haunts these northern countries for part of the year? One is tempted to believe this is the case… Constructivist, intelligent, minimalist and inspired, their light creations surpass all creative registers, such as the amazing installations of Finnish designer, Kirsti Taiviola. With doubled projections, her lights are distorted to mimic cells, smoke or a floral rosette.

From left to right, Fantom, Illusia, Magika 2 and Magika 1 lights.





Light Stories: Designers of Light

Avant-garde poetry.

Even more ephemeral are the creations of Dutch designers Ralph Nauta & Lonneke Gordijn of Design Drift, who mix dandelion seeds and LEDs to create light installations of an incredible delicacy. Entitled ‘Fragile Future’, they seem to want to capture the ephemeral in a complex circuit, glorifying nature in an industrial world whilst forging a very bright future for themselves.

Fragile Future 3 by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta in collaboration with the Carpenters Workshop Gallery.





Light Stories: Designers of Light

Avant-garde technology.

Nothing illustrates this trend quite like the ‘Swarm Light’ installation by rAndom International, which is quite simply amazing. Praised for its exceptional beauty, this shower of light is simply a gem of an electronic that comes alive in response to environmental noise, like a lyrical choreography of lights. And the cherry on the cake: it has recently joined the permanent collection of the V&A Museum in London.

SWARM Light / by rAndom International 2010 (S.Wood, F. Ortkrass, H. Koch). 3 cubes  81 x 81cm each  : LEDs and polished brass rods.


Light Stories: Designers of Light

Avant-garde fashion
Inspired by the cut of clothes, the latest light design from Delta Light®, ‘Metronome’ by Belgian designer Tim Van Steenbergen, came together in a very fragmented manner. “We wanted to transcend the limits of our creativity, explore interfaces with other innovative environments. And since fashion is a discipline of choice in Belgium, we decided to approach Tim Van Steenbergen,” explains Delta Light®. Incised, cut, and layered – the suspension resembles a pleated skirt in white aluminium, which contains the warm light. Theatrical, just like the fashion world, ‘Metronome’ is illustrated through a complex play of shadows and light.


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