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Decorative lighting design: Our highlights of Light + Building 2018

Emerging technologies have revolutionized lighting – think of energy-saving LED lights or digital lighting control, just to name a few. The lighting object now more often moves into the background as light itself has evolved into a raw material, even a design tool, with its own hidden qualities.

Light + Building, in Frankfurt am Main, presented the key trends for decorative interior lighting in four thematic areas. We were there to discover the trade fair’s highlights for you.

Evoke emotions: Lighting design with emotion at Light + Building

With the aim of increasing well-being, the trend “Evoke emotions” features lamps that blur the boundaries between natural and artificial lighting. Thanks to digital technologies, lighting can perfectly meet human needs. With the help of refined design approaches and experimental systems, designers simulate natural light processes, playing with reflection, movement, and shadow. Davide Groppi’s Tomoko Lamp, for example, recreates sunlight from different times of the day by artificially reproducing natural light. In this way, it can mirror the naturally changing lighting conditions inside a room. And, the materials are just as innovative and experimental: foil-like materials or metal membranes create unique colour gradations, and mother-of-pearl and glass make for impressive light-diffusing effects. The collection by Guise von Diez is an example of this. Here, the light only becomes visible at the rim of the glass lamp.


The pendant light Amisol by the designer Dyniel Rybakken, with its circular metallised mirror membrane and translucent sail, diffuses light like a kaleidoscope. Already at the Euroluce 2017 in Milan, Luceplan presented these unique lamps as a highlight. The colourful light installation Senses of the Future even received a design award at the Milanese furniture trade fair.

Imagine mutation: Celebrating anomaly and diversity

At “Imagine mutation”, lighting design is not there to please, but rather to celebrate anomalies and the extraordinary – this category certainly leaves no room for stereotypes. Textures, patterns, as well as seemingly opposing materials come together to create exciting, contrasting effects, for example by combining matte with shiny surfaces, or monochrome with multi-coloured elements. Distorted, twisted and intractable – the designers explore a new type of diversity in lamp design through modifications.

Inspired by geometrical forms, the lighting of the Bomma collection Phenomena by DECHEM Studio presents impressive sculptural works of art. Another expressive lighting object is Tekio, created by the designer Anthony Dickens: This flexible lighting system made of paper modules is kept together with magnets and can be transformed to fit any space.

Light + Building
Light + Building
Light + Building

Revive homeliness: Back to the functional roots of lighting design

Back to cosy simplicity – this is what “Revive homeliness” is all about. The authentic and uncomplicated lighting design gives off warm, natural shades of light, creating a comfortable atmosphere for an understated interior. Streamlined, but well-thought-out concepts and carefully selected artisanal and durable materials contribute to an ambience of simplicity and pureness. The flexible lighting source Modular Typ 500 by Curt Fischer, for example, enjoys a revival with its simple, mechanical character. For the pendular light Above from Louis Poulsen, light follows the lamp design. A graphical triangle with an arch-shaped opening reveals a simple cable, while keeping the light source covered. Overall, minimalistic forms, natural and matte colours, rough surfaces as well as lacquered metal, but also ceramics and wood, define the industrial charm of this trend.

Create history: Wondrous, nostalgic lamp art

The theme “Create history” hosted dramatic, eye-catching exhibitions displaying designer lamps with retro-appeal. Extravagant forms, shiny high-end materials, and shimmering colours typify the opulent design. Antiques and collectibles are upgraded by integrating new technologies. Piet Hein Eek’s one-of-a-kind table lamp Verones creates an artful still life with delicate glass flowers. The pendant lamp in blown glass with an incorporated LED light, Knot for Brokis, shines like a high-tech piece of jewellery.

Whether the focus is on natural light effects, unusual concepts, functionality, or poetic light art: a lot of designs on the Light + Building incorporate classics, while at the same time adopting the latest technological standards

Light + Building
Light + Building
Light + Building

Which lamp design impresses you the most? Share your personal lighting design highlights with us!

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