Josef Hoffman designed this stylized Table Lamp in 1904, when artificial light sources were shifting from gas to electric, which challenged designers to innovate in accordance with the new technology.
Rather than putting shades around the bulbs, Hoffmann left the light source exposed. The suspended glass spheres echo the bulbs shape and draw further attention to the new technology as they catch and reflect the electric light. The lamp was manufactured by Konrad Schindel of Denmark.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.
A dramatic evocation of a downpour at nightfall, a convergence of nature and the urban world, New York Night is an installation of 120 hand-blown crystal pendants majestically cascades 90 feet through a six-story staircase, engaging the viewer in an ever-changing pattern of expansion and compression, much like the rhythm of a rain storm itself.
Immersive Reverse Room Installation at Foscarini Showroom Featuring The Light Bulb Series (All Photos By Gail)
NYCxDESIGN is New York City’s annual showcase of all things Design-related! Must-attend events include a Saturday evening (May 19th) filled with parties hosted by dozens of SoHo showrooms, where you can get caught up on all the latest trends in furniture and lighting while eating and drinking yourself into a stupor. It’s all kinds of crazy fun. We saw a ton of cool stuff this year, but I think we had the best time at one of the evening’s early stops, the showroom of Italian Lighting experts, Foscarini, which is located on Greene Street right in the center of all the hot design action!
On this evening, Foscarini were celebrating the launch of The Light Bulb Series, by Architect/Designer James Wines in association with SITE— the architecture and environmental arts studio that he founded in New York City in 1970.
The Light Bulb Series on Display in the Foscarini Showroom
The Light Bulb Series is a designer art-house collection consisting of a limited and numbered edition of pieces – based on a reflection of the light bulb as an archetype, with its typical bulb-like shape, produced in a series of surprising provocations, as follows:
James Wines translates this reflection with explorations that revolve around the principal themes that have always guided his architectural research. These are inversion, dissolution, nature, all those statuses of “architectural flaw” which make it possible to rethink reality, giving it shape and then at the same time breaking down its boundaries. Wines’s light bulbs are in turn melted, broken, inverted, turned black, and invaded by nature. A propensity towards experimentation, doing better but also doing differently, which has always animated Foscarini as well.
The focal point of the party however was Wine’s Reverse Room installation, which he designed together with his daughter Suzan Wines, both of whom were in attendance for the evening.
The endlessly Instagrammable Reverse Room was devised to emphasise the surreal quality of these experimentations: in a dark-walled room, upside down and slanted, with monochrome tables and chairs, the table lamps blink down from the ceiling, whereas the suspension lamps peep out from the floor.
It is an invitation to think of a world, of design, and therefore of what is possible, where it is always imaginable to shed light differently.
Visit Foscarini’s website at This Link for more information on The light Bulb Series and other Foscarini Lighting Designs!
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957 – 1996) was an active member of the artist collective Group Material (1979 – 1996), which supported an agenda of feminism, civil rights and gay rights in a time of increasing political conservatism. His own understated installations consist of everyday materials such as light bulbs, newspapers, and candy, and address concerns both wholly personal and universal – impermanence, love, loss, and the cyclical nature of life. With Untitled (Toronto), 1992, Gonzalez-Torres has imbued light bulbs, common utilitarian objects, with poetic significant. The lifespan of each bulb, like that of a person, is of a particular duration and will ultimately burn out.
Photographed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.