5 Illuminating Lighting Designers to Know
When sketching the sculptural, pendulum-like jewelry that makes up her line Mau, Marianna Maurer looks all over the place—from the landscapes in around her in California and Pennsylvania to the Alexander Calder sculptures she studied in school. One source that always gets her aglow? Modern lamp and pendant designers—and she’s about to enlighten you on five of her faves.
“Ponti was an influential Italian architect and designer and the publisher of the design vanguard magazine Domus, which launched in the 1920s. His body of work is incredibly well-rounded—he even designed gorgeous ceramic toilets—but I find his lighting fixtures of the fifties and sixties to be a true inspiration for my work. They perfectly balance overtly masculine tones and use of material with feminine lines and movement. Ponti’s work is strong and sexy but also sophisticated.”
“I recently came across Anastassiades’s work and fell in love. He is a young London-based designer who works mostly in lighting. What attracts me most to his pieces is that they’re deceptively simple, which actually makes them incredibly interesting. He has just enough of what is needed for a harmonious design and not a single thing more. I often think about this type of restraint when creating pieces for Mau. It’s easier to think about what you could add when creating something new rather than what needs to be taken away.”
“Hiquily was a French metal sculptor, but he also produced lighting and furniture in the sixties. His lamps and candelabras have such palpable sensuality and movement. I love the dynamic of his organic shapes cast in bold, polished metal. Similar to Ponti, his pieces possess both feminine and masculine qualities but to such a different end.”
“Apparatus was founded in 2012 by Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson. What’s so special about their design to me is how they mix material and textures like horsehair, brass, and etched glass to achieve a novel and refreshing piece. Their work is adventurous in this sense but it’s still dedicated to the balance of design rather than looking to provoke.”
“Jean Rispal was a French designer who produced a series of light fixtures in the fifties. He was highly influenced by Hans Arp, and although he didn’t leave behind a huge body of work, what he did create offers so much inspiration. His Praying Mantis standing lamp is considered to be one of the best lighting pieces out of France from the second half of the 20th century. The first time I saw it, my jaw dropped. The way it plays with line, proportion, movement, and texture is so perfect; I couldn’t stop looking at it. I also appreciate the way it pays homage to a few different traditions including Biomorphism, mid-century Scandinavian woodwork, and Japanese paper lanterns.”