Updated: May 19
A new point of view for "light" is coming from young Italian designers. They say that the light is not only about lamps, but a way of furnishing, and in every project they do, they try to embellish and give value to poetic and physics behind the phenomenon of light. I am so excited to introduce you these young designers that they will literally create a new sparkle in Milan Design Market.
First of all, I am sure that everyone is curious about who are the designers in OliveLab. Can you talk about yourself and how you have decided to create Olivelab?
Marco and I met during Industrial Design Course at the Polytechnic of Turin almost six years ago. While he majored in Systemic Design, I preferred to go on with my studies in Product and Space Design in London. Here I spent the most of my time in the workshop building and prototyping every idea coming in my mind, it was fantastic. This shaped my own identity and when I got back I bought some machines, built myself a little workshop and I start to work with light. A year after with the help of Marco we decided to start our own firm OliveLab, aiming to produce a new generation of lighting products. This has been possible also thanks to my brother Edoardo which helped bring to the Studio great technicals and engineering skills .
This year you are attending Milan Design Market with 3 products. And you are launching a new product which is so excited. Can you tell us about your products and design?
During last year FuoriSalone we presented Equilibrio: a floating lamp that plays with gravity and magnetic attraction.
Besides Equilibrio, this year we will bring at Milan Design Market a new product but also a new incredible concept. We wanted to demonstrate how light is always able to bring some magic in our home and create a sense of astonishment.
Our new product Riflesso is a series of clock that use simple light beams to show the immortal dancing of time. We will present the wall and the desk version in white and brass finishing, the whole structure is minimalistic and simple in order to let the intangible clock hands made of light be the protagonist in the background.
For our new concept Apparenza I can just say that is series of lamps that plays with color and shadows and use light as a way to go beyond the appearance and show things as they really are.
What was your first inspiration and then how did you develop?
Riflesso was inspired by the ancient relationship between natural sunlight and the flowing of time. The passage of time is always been related to light. We wanted to develop a clock where the dancing of time was played by the light itself. In order to keep it simple we came to the idea to use an elementary physics law: reflection.
Besides light, you are working with geometry, functionality and simplicity of your products. What is your main stimulus?
There isn’t a main stimulus, I guess is just a different and poetic way to see light. How I was just saying, many times we are inspired by physics: Equilibrio was inspired by natural forces ,gravity and magnetism, Riflesso uses reflection, and Apparenza it works thanks to the reaction of a special material to light. The aesthetic simplicity and linearity of our product is a consequence : we want to give more importance to the light itself, focusing on the relationship between light and users.
I read that you found a way to capture the sunlight of a special day and a way to reproduce it inside room, which is so interesting, how does it works?
Yes you are talking about SunMemories wich was my thesis project and the first concept developed by OliveLab.
At that time I was living in London and I missed so much my Italian sun that I needed to find a way to capture it and take it with me. Inspired by the Seasonal Affective Disorder and the diseases caused by the lack of Sun, we developed an illumination sistem able to record the sunlight information, store them inside an Application, and replay the exact same features in every moment you want inside a room.
Light is an amazing element in design, but playing with it and manipulating it should be really hard. How is your creative procedure?
In my creative process I keep always in mind my final objective : do a functional product able to generate what we call the "wow effect" . As you just said the difference is between designing with light as an element and designing lamps. If you start to work with light as a phenomenon you can play with its infinite features and behaviours, in relationship with other materials for example, my creative process is full of great experiment and a lot of failure!
And what are your biggest struggles?
I’d like to be sincere and maybe obvius, but our main struggle is the lack of funds, we are young and full of idea but our creative process, made of experiment, costs! Moreover not anybody understand the poetic behind our projects, a lot of people thinks about lamps as a technical device to light up a space, I thinks light as a way of furnishing, a way to create beauty.
After these 3 product are we going to see you with new ones in the future?
Of course, we are just a the beginning! We have a lot of ideas to work on and to produce, and we are also looking for companies to collaborate with. “The future's not ours to see..” but we will do our best!