Sunday, February 20, 2011

shine a light

Before moving to Denmark, I had very little appreciation for light or lighting design. I come from a place that, under normal global circumstances, experiences all four seasons--each for a relatively normal length of time. But unlike the motherland from whence I came, Denmark sometimes seems to have only two seasons: a very short, albeit gorgeous summer; and one unbearably long, dark, cold winter. I never had to appreciate lights before. And honestly, until a lightbulb in a lamp at home went out, I took it for granted that once I flicked the switch, the desired effect (lightbulb on or off) would be produced. I took no time to appreciate the setting in which these bulbs were placed, no notice of the fact that when executed well, lighting can be both functional and stunning.

Scandinavians, on the other hand, have learned quite well how to fully appreciate light. When you spend a good chunk of the year with infinite shades of grey providing the backdrop to your daily life, suddenly lighting design becomes something worthy of near-worship. I have come to appreciate the simple, sleek, functionally beautiful world of light. Most recently, I was introduced to the magical Ingo Maurer. A German industrial designer who specializes in light design and installations, Maurer's work is truly magnificent, and to me, demonstrates just how illuminating a bit of light can be.

A Maurer LED installation--like a blanket of stars.

I have a thing for skeletons--I'd kill for this to hang somewhere in my house one day.

Imagine this above your dining room table. When I picture that, the word "fantastic" immediately comes to mind.

I bet no one ever rained on Ingo Maurer's parade. Just saying.

Functional, check. Beautiful, check. Mission accomplished.

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