i+D - May/June 2021 - 43

Technology and style
come together to
brighten the world
By
Jessica Goldbogen Harlan
When Thomas Edison had the original light-bulb
moment that forever changed how people lived
and worked, he never could have dreamed that
nearly 150 years later, the world of lighting would
have come so far.
If furniture and wall paint are the set dressing
for the stage on which we live our lives, then a
home's lighting is the spotlight. From chandeliers
to pendants to sconces, table lamps to task lights,
the wide range of illumination options available
today offers a wealth of possibilities for interior
designers to create a mood or spotlight a setting
both indoors and out.
Form and Function
At Currey & Company, product designers often
gravitate to materials that tell a story about the
artisan or their provenance: recycled glass, beads
handmade in India, water hyacinth that's sourced
from waterway clearing efforts in Vietnam. And
influences can come from anywhere-from
fashion to architecture, even from a coil of rope
on a factory floor-which did, indeed, inspire one
of the company's designs.
Designed by Verner Panton
in 1971, the Panthella lamp
has stood the test of time. In
honor of the product's 50th
anniversary, Louis Poulsen
is updating the line with a
medium size, a portable mini
size, and a new brass colorway.
(Image: Courtesy of Louis Poulsen)
Louis Poulsen, meanwhile, combs its extensive
archives for classic designs that can be updated
and reissued, and that will resonate with today's
consumer. With a history dating back nearly a
century and lamps designed by industry giants
like Poul Henningsen-whose philosophy about
lighting laid the foundation for the company-Arne
Jacobsen, and Verner Panton, there's plenty
from which to choose. The company relies on
longstanding relationships with notable designers,
working with them for years as they evolve in
their style.
Now, a new generation is making its impact
on the world of lighting. " We're seeing many
young designers coming up with more artistic
designs, " says Monique Faber, director of product
and design, decorative, for Louis Poulsen. " It's
still a functional product, but the form is quite
remarkable and almost stands out like an art
piece. " Case in point is Olafur Eliasson, who
designed the OE Quasi Light for Louis Poulsen
that launched in 2019. Almost 1 meter in
diameter, the lamp has an unusual design: Light
points are imbedded inside the frame of the
fixture, and they're directed towards a reflector
in the middle, which in turn illuminates its
surroundings.
" It's a very spectacular lamp that grows on
people. When you walk around you see new
angles from every vantage point, " says Faber.
As Quasi illustrates, the design of a light
fixture has a unique challenge: It needs to be
functional and attractive when it's turned on but
also look great when it's off. This is a constant
consideration for Currey & Company. " We really
look at shading and how it'll look when a light
is not on, " notes Pam Bailey, vice president of
product development and design for Currey &
Company. " For instance, our Multi-Drop Series
is made with art glass, and it looks so different
when it's off. You'll see one that looks like a
watercolor brown, and when you turn it on, it
lights up as deep gold. "
i+D - May/June 2021
43

i+D - May/June 2021

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