Last week the city of Milano was flooded with their annual stream of designers, architects and design-lovers. Just as everyone else, we were thrilled to be there again this year to be persuaded by the latest designs light designers and companies are displaying. All our favorite brands were presenting: Louis Poulsen, FLOS, Michael Anastassiades, OLUCE, Foscarini, Linea Light Group, VISO, etc. were there with beautifully designed stands and breathtaking new armatures. We also saw some young brands that caught our eye like Lambert and Fils from Canada that make make splendid little globes like mobiles; playing with balance and gravity.
Visiting the stands at the Salone del Mobile I was especially struck by the dominant place that theatrical light effects have taken in our homes. Next to the fact that there is an immense difference between light and interior designers, which I will get back to later. Regarding my first point: many interior design stands have theatrical lightning next to the regular armatures lightning in their stands. Mind you: at EuroLuce stands you will (of course) never see that. If their armatures can't do their work, their products are not doing the job. But I instantly realized it has become so normal for customers to be confronted with dramatic light effects which of course influences them in how they started regarding their own home. "And all the world's a stage..." to speak with Shakespeare. That fact, together with the endless possibilities were are confronted with by technology, bring people to more and more value the work of light designers these days.
Regarding the latter point I am making: the difference between light designers and interior designers when it comes to looking at light, is not new to me. It just still strikes me as odd that these two disciplines can't stay away from each other when they clearly should. Or I should rather say: interior designers keep on designing lamps/ objects/ armatures when they clearly have no clue about light. They don't even show a slight interest in light itself. The result is that you get big or small 'objects' floating through the air attached to threads, or standing in the corner next to the couch, that have nothing to do with light, just with the object itself. And it's a shame. Compare this idea to - for instance - the pendule lamp by Davide Groppi you see below: isn't that one - from top to bottom - all so delicately about light, shadows and what it does to the shapes and colors that surround us?
Lucky enough at the Salone del Mobile one can educate him or her self on the difference. I just truly hope that people do watch closely enough...
Design by Davide Groppi
Design by Arturo Álvarez
Design: Nendo for FLOS
Design: Light Point - Copenhagen
Design by Foscarini