As will become clear from these post-Milan 2013 posts, companies are responding to the current markets, which are difficult, and changing fast, in different ways. It is not always predictable who will respond in a good way, but we will be celebrating some who are.
Milan-based Cini&Nils is one of them. They are purists. they make a light fitting when such a light fitting is necessary. The requirement defines the luminaire -- how it functions, what it looks like, what it is made of. They make them very well. And there is space for beautiful detailing -- look at a particular favourite of ours, the Gradi Scrivania, for example:
As a result, they have inspired passionate advocacy from the architects, lighting designers and interior designers who have understood them. This approach has also resulted in their being trail blazers, as the logic of a design has taken them where no-one has gone before -- the first 230V cable track lighting, for example.
The trouble is that most people choose a light by what it looks like, not by what it does. So Cini&Nils is reinventing itself (hence Cini&Nils 2.0) as it creates new designs that explore what is possible with LEDs.
For example, look at the picture at the head of this post. It is a composition made up from FormaLa, a flexible strip that has LEDs on one side.
You can curve it as you like. It will project light from one side, to contrast with the dark on the other.
The result is bang on trend -- modules which allow dramatic effects over wide areas of wall and ceiling, depending upon the number and placing of the modules used. It will be available in four lengths -- from 138cm to 540cm.
Actually, it is bang on another trend as well -- lights which cast dramatic light effects on the surfaces around them, a trend that is also demonstrated by Naica, but with a different (random, ethereal) type of pattern:
Naica consists of 57 methacrylate rods with a square cross section arranged in a chequerboard pattern, perpendicular to the wall. The pattern in the image above is real, as is proved by this image of Naica in a real room:
Of course, Naica's pattern may be too exuberant. What if you would like something more tightly disciplined? Like this, on a wall?
Or this, on a ceiling?
Assolo is a simple idea -- a Ø20cm ring at right angles to the surface (wall or ceiling), with one 16W LED mounted shining back onto the surface. You can never look directly at it, so there is no glare). Have a look at this close-up picture:
Then, to show how ornamental they are prepared to be, here is Collier! How decorative is this?!
Well, the answer is very decorative, of course (even when it is off).
But, being Cini&Nils, it is also clever -- a lot of thought has gone into it.
It is also modular. You start with one Ø32cm ring:
Then you can keep adding more rings, one at a time (sort of). Here is one with three rings:
There are two light sources. One shines down from the bottom,casting direct light onto the table underneath. The other creates diffused radiant light by shining through the rings, each of which is made up of 20 little methacrylate cubes.
A Cubist Caboche...?
So, whilst remaining true to the principles that underpin their heritage, Cini&Nils are greeting the new world of vanishing lighting retailers...smaller budgets...LEDs...new trends (modular, wall patterns) with creativity, originality and courage.
Cini&Nils are excited by light. So are Catellani & Smith. How many others are...?