Leading lights

Material use for lighting and lamp design are recurring Materia themes. A great deal of design research is performed in these areas, and the results are frequently stunning. Good lighting also helps to underscore other designs, from clothing to condos.

We’ve collected some super examples of lamps here. The painstaking, artful work by three designers serves to illustrate the huge design range out there.

Methodical craftsmanship is returning to the forefront of design. Though much of the attention is for 3D printing, laser-crafting shouldn’t be ignored. A series of intricate, finely detailed works sets the stage here. Fifti-fifti, which is based in Germany, has designed this filigree light that consists of two sheets of high-grade paper. This is laser cut and then stitched together. Because the pattern is computer coded, it can be scaled up or down and repeated at will, ensuring endless variety. The paper itself is attached to a metal lamp-frame with magnets.

You might recognise the Satori lamp’s materials from design school model making. Dutch designer Daniel Hulsbergen (Studio Daniel) combines super-lightweight textiles with balsa, the lightest wood around, for a lamp that almost floats mid-air. The frame is octagonal, with selected faces covered with translucent fabric. The term ‘satori’ means enlightenment, and we can see what the designer means.

At the other end of the spectrum is the lava lamp-styled Lava Drops light. The lamps are a collaboration between Tsunami Glassworks and Alvaro Uribe Design. Imagine a seventies lamp cast in stone and you get an idea of the Lava Drops. But these lamps are made of partly mirrored glass, which allows a lightweight lamp that’s easy to suspend. It also means that the light from the sources within the drops can bounce and shimmer off the various hanging lamps. Glass experts will recognise craft in the shape of the lamps: each globule is blown from molten glass. All together a very attractive effect.

Information and images via the designers: Fifti-fifti, Studio Daniel, Alvaro Uribe Design and Tsunami Glassworks.