Canadian designer Omer Arbel and contemporary manufacturer Bocci revealed 28, a materially explorative light installation at Spazio Rosanna Orlandi during Milan Design Week. The exhibition showcased the results of Omer Arbel’s radical experimentation with blown glass technique and composition.
In Omer Arbel’s words: “I am interested in exploring the unexpected, but in retrospect obvious aspects of the world around us. In this case we inverted the basic technique of glass blowing. If you can blow air into glass and achieve astonishing results, it follows that you should be able to suck air out too and achieve equally interesting form”. Omer Arbel is renowned for his manipulation of light and shadow at both the scale of industrial design and architecture. 28 consisted of haphazardly composed blown glass pendants, with built in halogen/ LED lighting nodes, arranged in hexagonal chandeliers of differing lengths. The fabrication technique employed and refined by Arbel ensures that each pendant produced is completely unique in form from every other pendant – the pieces were shaped more or less by accident during production. The chandelier is height adjustable, and can range in size from 3 to 19 pendants organized in a central sculptural configuration, or in an ambient composition. At Rossana Orlandi’s space, Arbel nestled an overwhelming number of these pieces together to create a cohesive environment with its own rules of perspective, movement, and composition. The floor is treated with a continuous mirror, reflecting perfectly the constellation of chandeliers above – with the visitor is suspended in limbo in between. As the viewer approaches the room, the mirrored surface of the walkable floor reflects the chandeliers above, modulating the space with both direct and indirect light. Entering, one becomes completely immersed in a subtle brightness that creates a powerful phenomenological situation. The installation was intended to create a separate, highly defined environment, different from the surrounding world around us. In this contained environment, the qualities of the new 28 chandelier become tangible, and are manipulated and composed to communicate an emotional / intuitive imperative. “I like thinking of design and architecture as fundamentally romantic pursuits,” Omer Arbel says: “With our work an object or building is emotional and intuitive first of all. Ornament, style, technique, etc. are used as a way to focus on this basic fundamental quality. In this installation I have applied ideas and aesthetic explorations that I have been obsessed with over the years and which have recently manifested itself in my latest light design. I enjoy pushing the aesthetic and sensory possibilities of whatever medium I’m working with – in this case glass”. The Series 28 chandelier has, despite its slick and elegant finish, an industrial strength and heritage. The chandelier is made using a special glass blowing technique, where air is repeatedly blown in and then sucked out of intermittently heated and then cooled glass. The result is a distorted sphere in which a small LED (12V, 0.3W) or halogen (12V, 20W) light is placed. The light from these tiny bulbs projects through the complexity of the blown glass shapes to create pools of light and shadow on the surrounding walls, ceiling and floor which have an almost aquatic sensibility.
Spazio Rossana Orlandi now showing for the 9th year, continues to be a must see during Milan Design Week.
International atmosphere, light, colors, flowers, whimsical items, windows, boxes full of anything, textiles, mazes, tunnels, courtyards and wonderful exhibits all around you. it is virtually impossible not to be charmed.
A great place to have a relaxing “End of Salone” celebratory lunch.
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