Milan 2013: Cini&Nils 2.0

Cini&Nils FormaLa wall light set 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:

Cini&Nils gradi scrivania table task lightAs 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.

Cini&Nils FormaLa wall light

You can curve it as you like. It will project light from one side, to contrast with the dark on the other.

Cini&Nils FormaLa wall light shapes

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:

Cini&Nils Naica wall light set

Of course, Naica's pattern may be too exuberant. What if you would like something more tightly disciplined? Like this, on a wall?

Cini&Nils Assolo as a wall light set

Or this, on a ceiling?

Cini&Nils Assolo wall ceiling light composition

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:

Cini&Nils Assolo wall light ceiling light

Then, to show how ornamental they are prepared to be, here is Collier! How decorative is this?!

Cini&Nils Collier arrangement

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:

Cini&Nils Collier uno pendant light

Then you can keep adding more rings, one at a time (sort of). Here is one with three rings:

Cini&Nils Collier tre pendant light

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 trends (modular, wall patterns) with creativity, originality and courage.

Cini&Nils are excited by light. So are Catellani & Smith. How many others are...?


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The Sparks system by Daniel Becker for Quasar

Sparks modular lighting system from Quasar in a all

Quasar will be showing in Milan their new Sparks system, designed for them by Daniel Becker. It is absolutely on trend, being a collection of components that can be plugged together to make installations of any size.

From the data sheet, you can see that only three shapes are needed....

Quasar Sparks lighting system data sheet

The connexion pieces have ball joints in order to maximize the range of possible angles. To these are added one of two lighting modules:

Quasar Sparks lighting modules

All the wiring is hidden and, since they plug into one another, only one electrical feed is required for most installations. Here is a close-up:

Sparks lighting system from Quasar detail

Each module has to be attached to the wall or ceiling, of course.

So, what can you do with it? Well, the world's your lobster, really. Here it is providing a light and airy differentiation between two spaces in a bank headquarters (Citibank in Singapore).

Quasar Sparks lighting installation Citibank, Singapore

You can put it over the reception desk in a hotel foyer -- here, the Adagio Hotel in Cologne:

Quasar Sparks lighting installation Adagio Hotel, Cologne

It can occupy that awkward space over a double flight of stairs (good quality LEDs mean that access for relamping is not an issue):

Quasar Sparks lighting installation over a stairwell

Though is fills quite a large space, it does it  without appearing to be too heavy -- and it does it economically! Such modular systems (the most extensive collection is from Vibia) are inexpensive ways to ornament large spaces.

You can put the Sparks system on a wall;

Quasar lighting installation on a wall

It can even go round corners...

Quasar Sparks lighting installation over two walls, round a corner

...which means that you can apply it where the surfaces are not flat. If you look at the picture at the top of this post, you'll see a beam running across the ceiling, but it is not interrupting the Sparks installation.

So, the German designer Daniel Becker has designed a very versatile, easy to use, economical, on-trend system capable of adding interest in a wide range of spaces, and of covering large areas.

Each light is one 6W 2700K Citizen LED.

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The Sprig Lamp by Victor Vetterlein

American designer Victor Vetterlein has created the Sprig Lamp. The Sprig lamp design is inspired by the fresh growth of plants. A single Sprig lamp makes a pendant light, while multiple Sprig lamps combined build a floor lamp or a chandelier.

The Sprig Lamp by Victor Vetterlein

American designer Victor Vetterlein has created the Sprig Lamp, inspired by the fresh growth of plants. A single Sprig lamp makes a pendant light, while multiple Sprig lamps combined build a floor lamp or a chandelier.

It is made of recycled plastic, and the lighting source is a standard compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). The CFL is replaced by unscrewing a lamp arm end cap to access the bulb. For joining two Sprig lamps together, an accessory package provides one threaded sleeve and a clip-on electrical cord, plug, and screw-in outlet.

Read more at the Contemporist.

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