Technological research and poetry, industrial production and craftsmanship, enriched by an artistic approach. The value of design is very well expressed in Formafantasma’s latest lamp for Flos, WireLine, the second one designed by the studio run by Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin after the success of WireRing in 2017.
Designed using a light source, a power cable, and nothing else, the lamp was born as an evolution of the concept that led to WireRing in 2017 to become a sign that designs spatial geometries.
WireLine is an essential – authentic – enchanting lamp in its (apparent) simplicity: an object that is exactly what it appears to be. Previewed in 2019 at the Salone del Mobile.Milano e a miart, it is now available for the global market.
And Flos has decided to narrate, like a real story, this inspired project by the Flos Stories # 3 magazine, which can be browsed on the company's website, with new author photography services, signed by Olya Oleinic in the Formafantasma studio in Amsterdam and Tommaso Sartori in the historic setting of Villa Ottolenghi on the hills of Acqui Terme, accompanied by interviews, insights and curiosities.
“With WireLine, our second lamp for Flos, we revisited the principle that led to the design of our first one, WireRing, and took it one step further. Both lamps were born from the desire to use the electric cable as the star element in the design” tell Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin in an interview illustrated by the intimate and personal photos of Olya Oleinic who portrays them in their studio in Amsterdam. “For WireLine, we flattened rubber to make it look like a belt and acquire a key role: supporting the extruded ribbed glass rod that houses the LED light source. We chose these materials in order to create a playful contrast between the industrial feel of rubber and the sophisticated sensuality of glass. The lamp can be installed as a single piece or in a string of modules to obtain elaborate visual compositions. Packaging has minimal dimensions”.
As a piece of industrial design enhanced by an artistic outlook, WireLine is a perfect representation of Formafantasma’s design approach, which add “turning the power cable into a key element to generate the form, an aesthetic, iconic and performative aspect of the piece in a space”.
The effect is rendered in a scenographic, pure and emotional way in the photo shoot made by Tommaso Sartori at Villa Ottolenghi. Located on the hill of Borgo Monterosso, near Acqui Terme, in Northen Italy, the patronal residence built in 1922 from the idea of patrons Arturo Ottolenghi and Herta von Wedekind zu Horst intertwines rationalist lines with elements of Renaissance tradition and classical art. A multitude of creatives have contributed to its shape over the course of 40 years: architects, painters, sculptors, decorators and urban designers.
Other Flos outdoor products illuminate the immense surrounding garden designed by the landscape architect Pietro Porcinai. Inside, among vineyards, smaller buildings that have housed artist residences, tennis courts and swimming pool, there is also a mausoleum, today the temple of Herta, with classic lines at the same time austere in Candoglia marble.
Located in the austere rooms of the villa, between clear geometries and hypnotic arched passages lit by classical works of art, the sinuous and fluctuating lines of WireLine compositions stand out by contrast: light and soft, they draw the spaces with signs, as if they were brushstrokes, of simple elegance.
WireLine is a long and thin body with the power cable used as an essential aesthetic feature. Flattened to look like a strap, made of rubber and hung from the ceiling, it delicately supports a sophisticated extrusion of grooved glass, which contains and diffuses the LED light source.
WireLine thus fulfills the ambition of reducing a lamp to its essential components, of creating a shape and presence that stem solely from the light source and the power conductor.
“Every author has an obsession. Ours is light”, explain Trimarchi and Farresin. “We explored it with independent projects and then with Flos: with WireRing first, and now with WireLine. What we love of light that it is intangible, but also technical and emotional. And it is one of the few fields of design that has been recently completely transformed by an important technological innovation: LEDs have changed the rules of the game in terms of design, use and human experience. This shift has turned light into a territory for pioneers, and the most exciting exploratory field for design”.