Euroluce 2013 Trends – Beauty, Functionality or Both?
Euroluce 2013 was not the one that radically broke with trends or changed courses. But that does not make it a fair without an identity. On the contrary … Various launches have the potential to mushroom into an instant classic. And there was news to gather!
Beauty before technology and functionality?
One of the most memorable comments was that ‘Beauty before technology‘ was the major trend at Euroluce 2013. That applies to the designs themselves and also to the lighting effects that they create. Does beauty stem from technology and functionality, or do we first think of the aesthetic look and feel before getting round to the functionality?
The fairytale light of the Foscarini Lake is a fine example of beauty before technology. The light of this wall lamp is captured and hidden, making it appear like a water surface. And what do you think of the Marset Nenúfar pendant lamp inspired by water lilies?
Organic shapes for the win!
Recent years have seen a trend of moving away from the purely functional, and at Euroluce 2013 it was very much in evidence. The hand of the master designer is well worth seeing, and it brings us strong, poetic designs with an often innovative use of materials. The shapes are often akin to a sculpture, organic or highly geometrical. White and metallic colours are the order of the day. Natural organic shapes could be found at Flos with the Orotund of Marc Newson. This wall lamp resembles frogspawn. Similarly, Artemide, Foscarini and Fontana Arte continue to swear predominantly by timeless asymmetrical shapes. Like the Artemide Florensis, which takes its name and shape entirely from nature.
Creative with energy
Nevertheless, technology definitely played a role. LED lighting is continuing to gain in popularity, both in new designs and in the retrofits of classics, like Flos with its Modello designs of Gino Sarfatti or Marc Sadler’s Twiggy at Foscarini. Gino Sarfatti is being mentioned as one of the most important Italian lighting designers. A few of his original designs are ‘relit’. This explains the term Re-lighting, which reflects the remarketing of Sarfatti’s designs with modernised and versatile LED light sources.
The Modello 1095 floor lamp arguably underwent the most radical modification. Initially there was no place in this tubular 12 V halogen standing lamp for the discharge of heat. To overcome this problem, the Flos engineers designed a patented water cooling system within the tube.
OLED-technology – Light source and fixture become one
Here and there a few lamp manufacturers like Verbatim and Osram took a new shot at OLED experiments. OLEDs, or Organic LEDs, are extremely thin light sources in the shape of an illuminating surface. In this field of specialisation, Osram introduced earlier, in association with Ingo Maurer, an OLED table lamp called Early Future. This was followed by the PirOled and the Airabesc pendant lamp as the most recent fixture.
In terms of material usage, too, technology plays a prominent role. Many designers use state-of-the-art plastics or alloys.
Another trend might be ‘the new craftsmanship‘, or the use of handwork and natural or crafted materials, as is the case at Marset, Tom Dixon and Fontana Arte. Examples are hand-crafted metal fixtures and mouth-blown glassworks. A specific feature of these production methods is that they give character and identity to the creations, because every creation is unique. The two clips below about the Marset Pleat Box and the Artemide Empatia show that designer lighting is not about conveyor belt production, but about ultimate precision and craftsmanship.
Een andere trend zou ‘het nieuwe vakmanschap‘ kunnen zijn, het inzetten van handwerk en natuurlijke of ambachtelijk bewerkte materialen, zoals bij Marset, Tom Dixon en Fontana Arte. Denk maar aan met de hand bewerkte metalen armaturen en mondgeblazen glaswerken. Eigen aan dit soort productiemethoden is dat het karakter en identiteit geeft aan de creaties, elke creatie is immers uniek. De twee filmpjes hieronder over de Marset Pleat Box en de Artemide Empatia tonen aan dat het bij designverlichting niet gaat om bandwerk maar om haarfijn precisie- en vakwerk.
Add on what you like
Finally, the many modular designs were prominently present. Is this a consequence of the crisis (“Buy the basis now, buy add-ons later…’), or rather an expression of the new ‘design-it-yourself’ idea? The designer creates the possibilities, while the user determines their embodiments. Customisation for the win!
Whatever the case may be, the trends look highly promising. Have you noticed other trends in the lighting world?
This article is also available in: Dutch