Catellani & Smith designer, Enzo Catellani, said that “Light does not exist without shadow—it is shadow that emphasizes light”. Indeed, the ambience that is exuded by a space can ultimately come down to three things: the colour of the walls, the furniture and of course, the light fixture(s).
The impact of the latter is often underestimated. In fact, you don’t even need to change the wallpaper or paint, nor the furniture, just the light fixture can create a completely different atmosphere.
The light fixtures featured in this article play on the illuminated patterns the lights create, while simultaneously focusing on the aesthetic appeal of the fixture itself. Essentially, we’re no longer looking up whether the light performs its intended function: illumination; we are looking at how it illuminates the room, and this goes beyond the spectrum of bright and dim. These lights create patterns that are decorative features as much as feature furniture or unique wallpapers. The shapes, lines and shadows of these lights effectively make their own wallpapers. If you can’t picture it, think kind of like a fancy kaleidoscope or disco ball, though much more sophisticated and eye-catching.
Contemporary designers like Catellani construct skeleton-like structures, where the light bulbs are thoughtfully positioned, to project a specific design in darkness through their clever use of geometry and artistic visual elements.
Catellani & Smith’s Wa Wa F light, from their Wa Wa series, projects overlapping circles on walls to create a unique appearance. Also, the spaces where the circles overlap, the light is stronger, effectively creating an intangible texture through the variation of brightness. The price of the light is US$3,444.
Similarly, British designer Tom Dixon’s Moroccan-style, geometric pendant when illuminated displays an intricate series of tessellated triangles, made more sophisticated with the varying thickness of lines. This light sells for US$1,950.