Light + Tech Jill Entwistle takes us through some of this year’s award-winning lighting installations
The Onu floor light and Onu pendant light, handmade by Melbourne-based furniture company Sabu Studio, have been shortlisted in the lighting design category of the 2022 Dezeen Awards. The studio combines traditional woodworking techniques and contemporary design, with the ambition of reconnecting urban interiors with the natural world. ‘The minimal and elegant designs aim to bring a sense of the natural world into interior spaces through form and symbolism,’ says Sabu founder Samuel Burns. ‘The designs are formed around the notion of divergence, a glimmer of light between the trees.’
According to the luminaire type, the wood – a choice of Tasmanian blackwood, American oak ash, American walnut and black American oak – is split in different ways to reveal and create the light source.
The two halves are constructed using the bent lamination technique, and then subsequently formed and shaped using a router.
The standard colour temperature of the light is a warm white 3000K, but other options – 2700K, 3500K, 4000K, 5000K – are available on request.
After experimenting with a number of prototypes, the studio devised an internal fixing concealed in the timber, allowing the luminaire to be disassembled should the need arise and the LEDs to be replaced while preserving the seamless design.
The depth of the pendant is 1,500mm while the floor light is 2,280mm high.
A third design, the Onu Duo pendant (2,000mm wide and 680mm deep), is suspended from two points using flex cable. The floor light has an inline dimmer switch, and the pendants can also be installed with a dimmer.
‘I believe even the act of using a natural material, like timber, provokes enough connotations of the natural landscape, and in turn introduces it into interior spaces,’ says Burns. www.sabustudio.com
The Mirror Of Wonders
Fabio Mazzeo Architects
Image Credit: BIANCA PULEO
An imposing entrance to a 17th-century villa would seem to cry out for a chandelier of some sort, but Rome-based multidisciplinary firm Fabio Mazzeo Architects chose a more unorthodox intervention for its headquarters. The intriguing moving-mirror is, literally, an off-the-wall installation using light and reflection.
Located at one end of the 60 sq m entrance hall, the large, mirrored wall surface is 4.5m wide by 4m high. Broken down into several sections, all of which move under their own power, it captures the many angles and perspectives of the space, reflecting the contemporary/ classical interior. A gold leaf-covered backdrop and backlighting bring out the fractures of the moving mirror.
The resulting interplay of constant reflections moves fragments of the scene to unexpected places in a kaleidoscopic, shimmering image. The installation also faces and returns the image of another mirror, from the Renaissance period, a coexistence between two works of art created 500 years apart.
The installation is not only aesthetic but also functional. An integrated monitor that uses mirror-screen technology produces additional visual imagery on the reflective surface, and is used by the team for presentations to clients.
‘As in all our projects, we started with the specifics of the setting to create a piece that could bring out the unique character of the space which has such a strong identity,’ says Fabio Mazzeo.
‘We wanted to avoid overabundance and excess. That led to the idea of an installation that is neither authoritarian nor imposing, but rather a modern piece that can find a harmonious balance with its historic surroundings. It was designed and built to create a dialogue with the interior and to orient the gaze in space, rather than capture it.’
Beau & Bien
Beau & Bien’s luminaires take heavy inspiration from the art of sculpture to achieve their lighting effects.
Founded in 2005 by designer Sylvie Maréchal, Beau & Bien describes itself as a lighting sculptor and specialises in customised luminaires that again combine cutting-edge technology with traditional crafts. French artisan workshops create the designs using locally sourced materials including Limoges porcelain, mouth-blown glass, resin and bronze.
Both wall and ceiling-mounted, works can vary enormously in size, from modest residential forms through to dramatic centrepieces for commercial, retail and leisure environments. A particular forte are large-scale suspension fittings that cascade down through large spaces. The studio’s deconstructed chandeliers feature endless motifs from clouds of birds and playing card suits (a casino) to stars, spheres and faux candles.
Aqua features relatively large-scale components, inspired, self-evidently, by water. Designed to evoke a cloud of bubbles and water droplets, each piece is made from Limoges porcelain, which creates a softly glowing, diffuse effect. The overall size, quantity and dimensions of the pieces, the composition and arrangement, as well as the finishes and length of cables, can all be project specific. www.beauetbien.com
Linear Tubes and Shape System
Lumo Tubo and Lumo Lamp
Polish sister companies Lumo Tubo and Lumo Lamp have a whole toy box of illuminated linear tubes and geometric shapes which, when combined, allow for a virtually infinite range of creative possibilities.
The patented Lumo Tubo system can be used inside and out, to delineate the lines of a space, as a neon sign, or suspended in a free-flowing form to create a striking sculpture. The system can be used with white light LEDs or with DMX-controlled RGB LEDs which allows individual diodes to change colour and create lighting animations.
Luma Lamp comprises a range of geometric shapes – Delta, Gamma, Trygon and Ypsilon Sytems – which can be used individually or combined to form limitless permutations and patterns on walls and ceilings, even curving over the 90-degree angle between the two planes.
Before The Fantastic
Puerto Rican artist and designer Reynold Rodriguez creates both furniture and lighting, using wood and gypsum respectively, occasionally marrying the two. Tactile, organic, simple and often mixing the rough with the smooth, his handmade works are somehow cuddly and curious, with his lighting especially having an almost anthropomorphic quality.
His work has been described as ‘dreamlike’, rooted in his fascination with impermanence and a belief that every work of art refers to transient moments or feelings. Rodriguez says his approach to design is a fusion of ‘majestic sculpture-ality and practical functionality’. ‘Visually and linguistically, I am always looking for the perfect way to describe something,’ he told Nuvo magazine. ‘Sometimes simple is best.’
His latest collection, realised over the past two years, is featured in his first solo show, Before the Fantastic, which runs at the Charles Burnand Gallery in London’s Fitzrovia until 13 January.