Enzo Catellani tells Indesignlive.asia editor Janice Seow about his fascination with the many facets of light while in Singapore to launch his Italian label, Catellani & Smith.
December 12th, 2011
Enzo Catellani may have studied accounting back in school, but the urge to create with his hands has proven irresistible, and so too, his fascination with light.
PostKrisi table lamp (2004). Made of fibreglass, light interacts with colour and shape in an interplay of transparencies and contrasts.
PostKrisi suspension lamp
“There exists many different types of light, many different feelings, many different qualities. I’m very fascinated with natural light during different seasons and times of the day and the locations in the world it appears,” says the 61-year-old.
Stchu-moon Collection (1997). Crafted by hand, the designs show a separation of the light source from the lamp.
The creative force behind Catellani & Smith does with light what poets do with their pen, imaginatively capturing the idea of illumination in beautifully crafted artisanal works that are at times playful, at other times theatrical perhaps, but always intelligently enhancing the mood of a space.
Luna (2010/11). An evolution of technology through the essentiality of form.
Catellani began his lighting journey with a limited series of lamps, which he had designed for sale in his own shop in the 1980s. Then in 1989, the designs caught the eye of a German distributor who presented the lamps at Frankfurt’s Ambiente fair, where is quickly drew public attention.
PostKrisi table lamp (2004)
Catellani launched his own label – Catellani & Smith – that same year, the name inspired in part by his beloved racehorse, Logan Smith.
The playful and personal choice is not only a refreshing departure from his peers, but a window into the soul of a company that has remained a producer of small batch, uniquely crafted works, with Catellani as sole designer – helming a modest team of 45 staff, including craftsmen and engineers – despite its growing presence, and projects, globally.
Luna Del Pozza, part of the Out Collection (2002).
Installation of custom-made Fil de Fer lights at the Copenhagen Stock Exchange (2009).
On his approach to design, Catellani says he considers the function and the user, and thinks about “the most suitable material that can be applied for this function”. And then it’s a series of tests and experimentation for Catellani in his workshop to find the best possible outcomes.
Atman (2007), inspired by Catellani’s journey to India.
Wa Wa, part of the Eco-Logic Light Collection (2008) that incorporates the use of LEDs.
He has worked with numerous materials, but has yet to try his hand at glass, a direction he plans to look into for a new collection.
Part of the Lucenera Collection (2000) where the light source disappears, making way for the illuminated subject.
The studio may have only produced 8 collections in 20 years, but Catellani is quick to explain: “Once I’m inspired by one collection, such as the Eco-Logic Light collection using LED… from there, maybe I’ll develop and find many different models. Other firms normally use many designers… Me, I’m alone, so when there is one ’subject’ I will develop it in a horizontal way so it may take some time.”
Enzo Catellani’s workshop.
In 20 years, the moods, ideas and passions remain the same, says Catellani. “Each light of the same model is similar to the other but will it be unique because it’s handcrafted. It’s like a tailor-made suit.”
The Luci d’Oro Collection (1995) – inspired by the golden light of fire and the sun, using gold surfaces and warm lights.
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!
Herman Miller expands its flagship workplace range with new products designed to enhance productivity – and the delight of working anywhere, in any way.
Located in the gallery precinct of Vienna’s historic old town, the V-ZUG brand display team set out to do something different for a new market, and the outcome is breathtaking.
Marylou Cafaro’s first trendjournal sparked a powerful, decades-long movement in joinery designs and finishes which eventually saw Australian design develop its independence and characteristic style. Now, polytec offers all-new insights into the future of Australian design.
Sub-Zero and Wolf’s prestigious Kitchen Design Contest (KDC) has celebrated the very best in kitchen innovation and aesthetics for three decades now. Recognising premier kitchen design professionals from around the globe, the KDC facilitates innovation, style and functionality that pushes boundaries.
The latest on whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s planned for Saturday in Design, Melbourne
Techne Architecture + Interior Design turns traditional in a playful new project at the freshly launched Emporium Melbourne centre, as Annie Reid discovers.
Showcasing an exceptional line-up of Australia’s design pioneers, visionaries and heroes, the Design Institute of Australia’s Hall of Fame celebrates the significant contribution of these designers to the creative world.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
With its stunning outlooks over Lake Burley Griffin, the new ANU Research School of Physics building, designed by Hassell, was an opportunity to embed wellbeing features as a primary element of the aesthetic. There is a clear alignment between the building blocks of the discipline – light, energy, matter and the interconnections between objects and […]
JUJURWORK has created a stellar destination to meet, drink and eat. Through adaptive reuse, this heritage venue has once more come to life in a fashionable and timeless design.
The versatility of the new range of Wolf Convection Steam Ovens is unmatched, not just in terms of cooking but also in design.