in design deities, Flos. No stranger to whimsy himself,
Starck’s presence on the Flos stand took the form of the
Bon Jour Versailles collection, which Flos describes as a
light fitting which ‘solves the paradox between industrial
precision and artisanal know-how, between aristocracy
and democracy, between science and poetry’.
It’s that classic Starck combination – no, call it a
clash – of familiar lighting tropes, both modern and
traditional. In this case he blends a Louis XIV base
and stem (the twist, like his Perspex chairs, is it’s
transparent) with a neatly pleated fabric shade and a
sleek chrome capping. It shouldn’t work obviously, but
it does. It’s a masterful mash-up.
Also attracting attention on the Flos stand was the
elegant Blush lamp, by Amsterdam-based studio
Formafantasma. It’s the practice’s first mass-produced
object. The minimal Blush makes use of an LED
strip and a piece of dichroic glass to cast brightly
tinted reflections on walls. With its sober design and
meticulous use of light and colour, it ‘recreates the
indoor memory of a long summer day’ say the designers.
Blush is available in three finishes – aluminium, black
and white – and different colour reflections.
Meanwhile the Ripls from Louis Poulsen, is deceptively
simple. Created by Danish designer Jakob Wagner,
this circular wall light has a clever opalescent PMMA
diffuser which, when you walk past it, captures the
magic of the ripples from a pebble dropped in water.
The Ripls’ slim concave form results in higher-intensity
light in the centre that fades toward the edges. A
diffuser offset sits deep within the fixture, creating a
sense of depth when viewed from the front.
The slim housing creates the appearance of a floating
disc, while perforations in the opaque housing allow
indirect light to create a halo around the fixture. The
overall effect is deep, glowing and playful, with just the
right balance of impact and subtlety to light a corridor.
For me, however, the fitting which passed the I-want-one-now test was the beautiful Mito by Munich-based
manufacturer Occhio, designed by founder Axel Meise.
On first examination it’s a standard circular pendant,
albeit with a cut in the circle. But it’s the stunning
attention to detail that makes it. The light quality
is beautiful, the finishing is sublime, the materials,
especially the metallics, gorgeous. That cut is more
than artful. Wave your hand there to switch the lamp
on and off and dim it.
The height adjustment feature is similarly addictive.
The length of the pendant’s slim cable stays (which
also supply the power) can be precisely adjusted in a
completely smooth motion. And you can gradate the
colour temperature from a cool 4000K to a warm 2700K.
Who says the lighting industry doesn’t do showstoppers?
Opposite: playful geometry
from Delta Light and playful
visual effects from Louis Poulsen
for its Ripls wall light
This page, from top: Zumtobel’s
Mellow Light now comes in
white, black, silver, bronze and
raw; Artemide’s Calipso, inspired
by algorithms from a photo
of the moon; the Ecosense Rise
complete system of accent/