We continue to see a push to making products and projects feel and look natural. The white wash absence of color and metal was dominating the lighting market for quite a while and still continues to thrive in certain sectors like healthcare and education but lately, there has been a shift to the warm extension of nature. Perhaps the environments were feeling too cold and our perception and memory of place carried a negative stigma that the consumer has desired to shift to a warm and comfortable experience. We understand that the appropriateness of cool or warm depends on a project to project basis but the desire of change might be pushing for this warm, natural and comfortable connection to lighting products.
lzf, a lighting company out of Valencia, Spain granted us with the opportunity to feel that connection to the natural and their commitment to the handmade, during Valencia Disseny Week, September 27- October 2, 2010. Converting an old wine making facility into a collaborative and family oriented approach to lighting, Managing Director, Sandro Tothill and Creative Director, Marivi Calvo show Yatzer and an array of writers from all over the world the inside scoop on what goes on behind the scenes at lzf.
lzf uses polywood, a technique they developed using wood veneers and treating it with a polymer to seal it and strengthen it. This technique allows the veneer to bend in new ways to make their products possible. Whether it is projecting or filtering, lzf develops artisanal products with the intent of showing the value of the human hand as it is connected to each product throughout the entire process. A bit of play, a bit of sculpture and a great deal of passion, lzf connects us to nature and the sense of comfort that it provides. The warmth and lightness of the pieces makes us part of the environment rather than a layer independent from our senses. Looking at the facility and their process, we see how important play and at times child-like mentality helps generate beautiful and whimsical solutions. Seeing nothing but smiles and laughs, we see that translation in their latest project.
Their project Koi demonstrates the collaboration between lzf and a team of graphic designers, motion designers, musicians and programmers to create a strong product that evolves narratively from nature. Koi, is an evolution from the Armadillo lamp by Luis Eslava. As they interact and evolve the project, they realize that best medium to tell the story is a movie, so they embark on a journey of motion and allow that to drive the product. The movie will be presented during Milan Design week 2011. This interesting and flexible mentality to their design thinking process shows us the potential of small companies like lzf making a push to innovation and the creative process in lighting products.