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Let There Be Light: Musing on the Art of Illumination

Ever entered a space and felt immediately at ease?

While there are a range of factors at play when it comes to interior design resulting in a sense of well-being, chances are that lighting has been addressed as an integral part of the collaborative design process to effectively distribute luminescence, eliminate harsh lighting and shadows within an area in a bid to shape and imbue a more impressive space with ambience - be it via employing techniques like layered lighting with multiple light sources to create a distinct atmosphere or other advancements in technology and lighting control to manage intensity and make adjustments to the mood of lighting throughout the day,

Needless to say, light sources, their design and their nuances play a vital role and can not only accentuate the beauty of light but with the chosen materials and shapes bring underlying concepts to the fore.

The year is MMXXII and the design landscape is entirely occupied by mass produced lighting sources. Well not entirely! One small baroque, coastal town in Sweden still holds out against the soulless cool.

For close to 150 years, Karlskrona Lampfabrik have resisted ever-increasing time constraints and wage differences by manufacturing their lamps true to their small-craft ethos. By adapting their production to the design of household appliances instead of the other way around and still using the same German machines from the 1880s, each and every lamp leaving Karlskrona is not merely unique but informed by designs that are infused with the architectural language of antiquity and further accentuated by a firm belief in the fact that a quality, manufactured product crafted from quality materials is an investment that not only illuminates the confines of your abode but your soul and through its sustainable attributes also minimises the damaged done to the environment and the wallet.

With Karlskrona Lampfabrik’s idiosyncratic holistic approach, which entails the consideration of design, product development and craftmanship in equal measure, they not only embody a renaissance for Swedish craftsmanship but demonstrate their expertise in how to cast a flattering light, stemming from their deep affection for the independent firm’s traditional paraffin-powered glass lanterns – and once one has been engulfed in the warm glow of their light sources, it will prove difficult to make do with less subtle offerings.

Another example par excellence for a conceptual endeavour in the realm of adding an intriguing facet to what light sources can be is the collaboration between London based Mathias Hahn and Marset: Informed through his background in Industrial Design, enabling him to work according to production and manufacturing processes and intrinsically driven by a natural desire for designing towards use and functionality, the creation of the Theia lamp for Marset was inspired by the impulse to create an everyday item and solve a particular problem without neglecting the narrative and playful side of the design process in a bid to form a layered and intertwined symbiosis.

Quintessentially the Theia lamp with its materials is a thinly veiled homage to duality of the yin and yang, the sun and moon, merging shadow and light in unison and of course, with its telling name, the Greek goddess and forebearer of the sol, the crescent and the aurora.

With its two-faced ability to manually swivel the sturdy fixture around its central axis, Theia’s opaque’s lampshade can either be positioned to be used as a reading light or to create a subtle, indirect light source, thereby shifting not only the distribution of light but beautifully marrying different spheres horizontally, vertically and intersectionally through projecting, reflecting and absorbing light.

The common denominator of Marset’s approach to designing lighting and its collaborations is not merely a passion for the complexity of light but the celebration of light as a multifaceted, thrilling and enduring experience to improve people’s quality of life, informed by a deep understanding of the role of darkness.


image from company website

T • October 12, 2022

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