As Milan Design Week continues to set avant-garde design trends for the upcoming years, the 2019 Salone del Mobile’s lighting biennale, Euroluce, saw a nod to classic designs mixed with contemporary craftsmanship.
Two dominant trends at this year’s Euroluce are ‘rediscovering the past’ and a ‘reference to nature’. Vintage lighting pieces were rediscovered, not only to serve as valuable tokens of the past, but as foundation for new research. The reference to nature is evidently the most dominant design trend at this year’s lighting biennale, as designers found inspiration from natural, organic forms, and produced their pieces with eco-friendly material.
However, some of the most unique pieces at this year’s Euroluce were developed in collaboration with heavyweights in the world of design. Profound architects found their way into the 2019 Euroluce, bringing together their design skills with the engineering solutions of design companies.
The Ukrainian architecture studio made its debut at this year’s Euroluce with a collection of handmade ceramic lighting. The award-winning office found inspiration from the history and significance of old ceramic vases, and chose to compliment their heritage and culture, with contemporary design solutions.
Winners of the 2018 Milan Design Award, Czech company LASVIT experimented with glass and light, and developed ‘The Theory of Light’, a collection of light fixtures that observe reflection, perception, spectrum, and nature. The company’s mission is to continue inspiring the world with the beauty of traditional glass-making techniques, and in this year’s biennale, they presented an array of flexible and customizable pieces that compliment the spaces they occupy. Along with several other remarkable creations and collaborations, the company joined forces with Zaha Hadid and Kengo Kuma for the creation of the Duna and Yakisugi collections, respectively.
The Italian lighting company is considered one of the country’s heavyweights in the field of light fixtures and solutions, with a rich history of innovative products, “designed by architects for architects”. BIG and Elemental were two of many architecture studios that collaborated with Artemide this year, developing fixtures that recognize the environment, community, and user comfort.
La Linea is a flexible tube of light, capable of twisting and turning in space, enabling the user to manipulate the fixture in unpredictable ways. Ripple is a suspended light fixture of circular modules that focuses on providing light and acoustic comfort due to its sound absorbing fabric. BIG’s third collaboration with Artemide, Gople RWB, connects human spaces and nature with light using the RWB light technology, a system that helps plants grow while providing functional white light.
Elemental’s Huara series is an interactive light collection that focuses on “integrating the first and the last moment in the history of light: celestial spheres with electronics”, acknowledging that the future of lighting is electronic, rather than electric. Huara is a geometric printed plastic shell that emits light upon human touch, whose name and form are inspired by celestial bodies. ‘O’ is another collaboration by Elemental, an environment-oriented light fixture that seems almost invisible when turned off and only illuminates when its sensors order it to.
Not all of Artemide’s collaborators this year are profound architects. ‘GenerAction Artemide’, is a new project developed by the company, which collaborates with young visionaries who are keen on changing the world with their innovative design ideas.
The company presented a wide range of unique forms and materials at this year’s Euroluce, fit for both indoor and outdoor spaces. Perhaps some of the most interesting pieces exhibited, are collections based on old drawings by notable architects and designers – such as Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Kazuhide Takahama – but are developed with contemporary material.
Beyond the pieces developed by architects, inventive designers filled the exhibition hall with thousands of light fixture designs that provide sustainable solutions to users’ spatial needs. Vibia’s designers found inspiration from basic geometric forms, and developed them into unique light pieces which, regardless of their minimal form, are able to boldly illuminate the space.