Taking place every other year, Euroluce’s International Lighting Exhibition – hosted at Salone del Mobile – is the most prominent design show for the not-to-be-overlooked lighting category, showcasing more than 400 global brands. Our interior architect and resident lighting expert Claudio Ruvolo highlights this year’s most impactful trends.
“The most prominent trend this year across all categories explored the relationship we have with our planet – and lighting was no exception. One of the standouts was Campana Brothers’ Irupè light for Artemide, a statement piece inspired by the Victoria amazonica, one of the biggest water plants in the world. The design highlights intricate details found in nature to stimulate reflection on current environmental issues. Another design for Artemide is “O” by Elemental,an unobtrusive hollow cylindrical shape designed to explore the relationship between man-made and natural environments. Elsewhere, Tala’s Magma explores the use of upcycled glass from disused solar panels through discs that emitted soft diffused light; and the cordless Sage light by Ambientec,powered by rechargeable solar batteries, has been designed to mimic plants.”
“Suffice to say the trend to think deeply – whether about sustainability, wellness or, in the case of this trend, social interactions – was a key focus in Milan. Following the successful debut of its interactive series last year, lighting brand Preciosa presented displays focused on our daily human interactions. Its original display, Breath of Light, was a popular installation brought to life by human breath, with tech that allowed the strength and length of the light display to be dictated by air blowing into a sensor. This year, Preciosa went a step further, creating displays such as the Pearl Wave – a chandelier that reacted to the sound of toasting glasses with a wave of light, thereby honouring the age-old celebration. Its other display, Pearl Curtain, reacted to weight moving beneath it, allowing the light to follow its observers’ footsteps. Even sweeter, two sets of weights coming together in a hug below the chandelier set off a light show worthy of such affections. Preciosa’s dedication to marrying traditional artistry with current technology creates magical products that remind us of the ‘illuminating’ interactions in our daily lives and results in them owning this trend entirely.”
“Seventies icons of the lighting variety were in full force this year, led by trend-setting Dimore Studio. In a homage to renowned designer Gabriella Crespi, the studio collaborated with the designer’s daughter to present seven of Crespi’s designs, including the most-Instagrammed image of the week: the mushroom-like brass and Plexiglass lamps. Contardi referenced ’70s kitsch through its use of colourful fringing, while Louis Poulsen played with bold colours for the PH 5 mini pendants. Lastly, designed by Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt, the Asta Quadro ceiling lamp recalled the era through its use of colourful Plexiglass and brass.”
“Mastery over matter, as per the ancient art of alchemy, is brought to life as brands mix, mould and marry different materials within their designs. Studiopepe’s Les Arcanistes exhibition was built around this storyline; its highly acclaimed display included a range of products, such as Areti’s delicate triangle pendants, designed using a mixture of brass, glass and acrylic. Davide Groppi developed his well-known Moon range with the introduction of Moon T, a handmade lamp crafted from delicate Japanese paper. Also taking inspiration from the solar system, Giopato & Coombes presented Moonstone, a sculptural piece made by combining fine-bone china and Murano glass filters; and Milky Way, a pendant light made with artfully dangling pieces of brass, marble and Murano glass that gravitate around each other as if in orbit.”
“We need not reiterate the popularity of stone, which featured heavily across a number of brands, starting with Citco’s Somma Table Light – a beautiful piece composed of two parts, stone and metal, arched over each other to create a lit doorway. Meanwhile, David Pompa’s Meta features volcanic rock crafted into simple geometric pendants to highlight the material’s rich textures; Salvatori lit its stone-adorned Hidden Rooms exhibit with a marble chandelier made of carved cylinders; and Bethan Gray drew inspiration from the spectacular chromatic stone façades of Tuscan churches, such as Duomo di Siena, for her Alice range.”
“The clean lines and pure geometric shapes of this trend remind me of the abstraction that followed Picasso and influenced artists such as Alexander Calder. It’s a style where lines express an artistic gesture – a notion that was brought to life by Flos with its My Circuit light, designed by Michael Anastassiades using simple combinations of individually curved and linear sections. Heco by Nendo for Flos built on linear structures warped by physical forces, with one side of the piece bent by a lit sphere. Roll & Hill presented a single oversized curved line spanning the length of a room; its deliberate form suggests the outline of a hut and is reminiscent of the interior of a home. Finally, Vibia’s Gradient wall sconce projected a scatter of geometrical shapes across the wall behind it, putting the interaction of light and geometry at the core of its design.”
Claudio Ruvolo has a masters in Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Milan, as well as qualifications from Westminster University and KLC specialising in interior architecture, project management and bespoke design. A qualified architect with over 7 years of experience, Claudio has worked on high-end commercial and residential properties in prime London locations such as Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Richmond. He is our resident period architecture expert and has an infectious passion for natural materials.