Four new lighting design projects celebrating the 90th anniversary of the historic FontanaArte brand, created from the collaboration of two Milanese designers Luigi Fontana and Gio Ponti: The Frenesi wall lamp, designed by studiolucaguadagnino; Tutti, chandelier-installation art by Matilde Cassani Studio; Thea, a family of glass lamps designed by Oscar and Gabriele Buratti; and Oort, a modular lamp system by Jacopo Roda.
The Frenesi lamp was created as a result of the author’s passion – filmmaker Luca Guadagnino – for art deco, a style beloved in all its forms, particularly the angularity, the design, the regular shapes of the lines that meet and intersect. Today, the FontanaArte collection is still a synthesis of art deco that, in an Italian key, illuminates homes around the world.
The designer questioned what form to strive for in order to create an object that respected the stylistic expression of the era from which it was inspired but with a contemporary language.
Thus was born Frenesi, named after the protagonist of the novel Vineland by U.S. writer Thomas Pynchon, inspired by the idea of the wave, a sensual ripple, made in the purest and most sustainable material such as glass, which emanates a soft light within the angular structure.
Previewed in the 65-cm wall version, Frenesi lends itself to a range expansion with the addition of different variations and sizes. Made in collaboration with publisher 6:AM, which conducted excellent research on the use of glass and technically developed the lamp, composed of 19mm-thick glass sheets on a metal corner structure.
“FontanaArte is a magnificence of Made in Italy and represents Italian cosmopolitanism. Artists from all over the world over the years have created unforgettable pieces. A contamination of ideas, cultures, and visions, a set of identities blossomed into all-Italian craftsmanship and savoir faire, resulting in a collection of lamps that are part of design history. Designing alongside FontanaArte is a great wish come true and fills the entire studiolucaguadagnino with pride; I hope this is the beginning of a long collaboration,” explains Luca Guadagnino.
Just as the Oort cloud is the origin of millions of comet nuclei that illuminate the Firmament with their wake, so the modular lamp system from which it takes its name, designed by Jacopo Roda, is the origin of an endless series of lighting solutions.
Oort, designed by Jacopo Roda, an engineer who has been part of FontanaArte’s Research&Development team for years, is composed of a uniform, flexible light line positioned inside an internally ribbed glass cylinder. These tubular elements can generate an infinite system of compositions and shapes, which can be combined at will to meet every architectural and aesthetic need.
“Sinuous straight and curved light paths that allow the creation of a personalized and different lighting for every need: a modular, flexible play of light that can be used in domestic environments and open spaces,” says Jacopo Roda.
Gabriele and Oscar Buratti’s research journey continues on the theme of the relationship between light and glass, which began with the Equatore lamp and has now landed in the new collection of Thea lamps, also designed for FontanaArte.
The magic of the reflections that light gives off on contact with the curved glass surfaces is the essential character of the lamp, thanks to the double cap: the first small and internal, in white opaline glass, which has the function of diffusing light homogeneously; the second cap, transparent or colored, collects light and multiplies it inside.
Table, floor, wall, ceiling and suspension, Thea is a family of lamps that cuts across application types, designed for use in both the domestic environments of the home and in the more public and contract spaces of the hotellerie, restaurant and work sectors. Two versions of the double canopy, small and large, rest on a slender stem base, attached directly to the wall or hanging from the ceiling. Black nickel and polished copper for the metal parts; transparent and smoked glass for the glass, characterize a family of elegant and sophisticated lamps.
“A product with a refined and timeless taste, shapes with a stylish design that reinterpret some classic canons and typical characters of our design, projecting them into a context of contemporary signs,” say Gabriele and Oscar Buratti.
The chandelier-installation artwork Tutti, designed for FontanaArte by artist and designer Matilde Cassani, tells a very topical story of contamination, of the union of similar though opposite elements, of shifting identities, of seemingly opposing tastes and thoughts but belonging to the same individual; of peoples and cultures that mingle and become a single social nucleus, different from their origins but united and for this reason extraordinary.
Tutti is the triumph of opposites represented by a series of hanging silhouettes symbolizing a world of contradictions and contrasts: religious banner along with the soccer team’s shield; man and/or woman: gender fluidity; skirt and pants; plastic bottle and fish. To name a few.
“I observe people who at any given moment find themselves sharing, even accidentally, the same space, the same subway, the same station. Everyone represents the diversity of individuals: religious orientations, sports passions, cultural and gender inclinations. It is an ark that contains everything that man, at this moment, would carry into the future. Its elements are the ex votos of today. They rotate on themselves, showing their opposite. A chandelier of contradictions. A lamp that takes its color from the domestic environment it is in,” explains Matilde Cassani.