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Foscarini lighting the way

ECAL and Foscarini present an intimate exhibition at Palazzo Litta showcasing nine lighting objects that explore the ways light accompany our movement in a space.

  • Talisman by Jana Lippert

  • Palmo by Mu-Hau Kao

  • ARC by Sebastian Maluska

  • Cocoon by Bastien Chevrier (left) and Ombra by Eva-Maria Beer (right).

  • NO.16 by Kohei Kojima (left) and Pina by Oscar Estrada (right).

  • Marathon by Victor Moynier (left) and Lina by Youjung Jeong (right).

ECAL (the University of Art and Design Lausanne) and Italian lighting brand Foscarini present an exhibition at Palazzo Litta. Titled ECAL + Foscarini, the intimate exhibition presents nine lighting objects designed by the second year students of ECAL’s Master of Product Design programme and developed based on a brief from Foscarini. 

The brief asked the students to work on new ideas of portable light and how the product can accompany our movements through space. Foscarini provided counsel throughout the design process, from understanding and reviewing the brief, all the way to troubleshooting and facilitating alternative solutions. 

The collaboration has given both the brand and the students a valuable experience. “The students have had to come to terms with the reality of design, its concrete processes, while Foscarini has been forced out of its usual comfort zone: to see what direction creative thinking takes when it is still free of the rigid mental superstructures inevitably erected by years of familiarity and experience,” says Foscarini founder Carlo Urbinati in the exhibition catalog’s foreword. 

Foscarini did not put constraints on materials and size of the product. Rather, says Urbinatti, the constraints emerged from real-life problems of creating a marketable design – feasibility, usability and aesthetic. The showcased results are intriguing. 

Cocoon by Bastien Chevrier (left) and Ombra by Eva-Maria Beer (right).

Cocoon by Bastien Chevrier (left) and Ombra by Eva-Maria Beer (right).

Cocoon by Bastien Chavrier, for instance, combines silk making tradition and LED technology. Chevrier let the silkworms weave its silk directly onto Cocoon‘s metal rods, which form the lamp’s diffuser. Eva-Maria Beer’s sculptural lamp Ombra is a play of volumes and contrast between closed and open surfaces. Ombra can emit light both directly and indirectly, depending on how the lamp is positioned.

Palmo by Mu-Hau Kao.

Palmo by Mu-Hau Kao.

Taking inspiration from tableware, Palmo by Mu-Hau Kao is a portable light that consists of a cast aluminium ‘bowl’ and a delicate blown-glass diffuser. The ‘bowl’ serves as a container that you can carry and around, like serving a dish. 

NO.16 by Kohei Kojima (left) and Pina by Oscar Estrada (right)

NO.16 by Kohei Kojima (left) and Pina by Oscar Estrada (right).

Kohei Kojima’s NO.16 comprises 16 wooden rods held together with rubber strings that cleverly hides all its electrical components. NO.16 lights up when the structure is twisted, making it appear like a magic trick. Oscar Estrada’s Pina creates a decorative moire effect via its delicate metal mesh diffuser that will change the mood of the room.  

ARC by Sebastian Maluska.

ARC by Sebastian Maluska.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Maluska’s ARC comprises two light elements linked by a rubber string that will light up once they are placed on a flat surface or linked together. ARC can be set and combine to create a garland. 

The exhibition runs until 22 April 2018.

Foscarini is available through Space Furniture in Australia.

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