There are relatively few lamp designers in Slovenia. When were you first tempted to design lights; the opportunity presented itself, or has it been possible for you to do this all along - let's present a challenge? Eight years ago, the opportunity presented itself
There are relatively few lamp designers in Slovenia. When were you first tempted to design lights; the opportunity presented itself, or has it been possible for you for some time - let's present a challenge?
Eight years ago, the opportunity presented itself when I was invited to revive Sijaj's reputation together with the new owners of Sijaj Hrastnik. We prepared a plan for a complete renovation of the production program and outlined a new design direction.
How does the production of a light proceed - do you first draw the lamp, choose the materials, or do you first imagine what type of lighting the lamp will be intended for?
When I start designing, the first step is the sketch. Experiments around the lit bulb quickly follow. With simple improvisations, I try to find out what kind of light effect a certain idea creates. When I design a product line, I look for a common thread. Usually this is glass and then the product is formed around it. Sometimes it is a matter of assembling already existing elements on the market, other times it is something completely newly designed.
When you design a lamp, do you imagine the interior in which it should be located, or do you design the light itself?
It depends on what kind of design it is. In industrial design, I design a light that could be used in as many different environments as possible. But when I design a unique light for a certain ambience, I often get the idea for the light in the lamp itself and in the equipment.
What is the most important thing in home lighting to create a pleasant atmosphere?
Is there a general rule to follow when lighting a room? At home, it is good to provide the option of strong or discreet, controlled light at the same time. This can be achieved with the correct selection of lights, their placement and the use of light intensity regulators. It is a mistake, for example, to hang a light on the ceiling in the living room that shines brightly in all directions. The room will be much more pleasant if we light it in such a way that the light is not uniform throughout the room. It is also important to provide strong light where we need it: above the dining and work table, the reading area,...
In which direction are the trends going, emphasizing light as an object or hidden lighting?
The trend is moving away from hidden light. In general, in the interior, the trend is moving away from the coldness and dullness of minimalism in recent years and is returning to decorating and softening these features. Minimalism gives way to emphasized expressiveness, combining different materials and colors. There is a growing tendency to emphasize light as an object.
Which global lighting manufacturers do you think stand out from the crowd?
Delta Light, Mooi and Santa & Cole. It is about three manufacturers who create different directions, which in a way dictate the trend... At Delta Light, they think a lot about how to hide the light and how to make it part of the architectural feature. Mooi deals with how to decorate simple, modern shapes or to turn them into distinct light objects. Santa Cole, on the other hand, is a Spanish manufacturer that emphasizes natural materials such as wood, clay and fabric.
In which lighting projects have you also participated, where in the city can we see your lighting or lamps?
Sijaj's luminaries can be seen everywhere. Regarding the interiors, I would like to mention the lighting of the Cubo restaurant and the Sputnik cafe, where Katjuša Kranjc and I designed the lighting and the interior. For the administration building of the University of Primorska, we designed a crystal chandelier that hangs in the central staircase.
When you walk around the city, bars, restaurants, ..., you probably notice the lights and lighting more. Would you like to point out a special corner where you particularly like the lighting and where you like to go for lunch or tea?
I am happy with spaces where effort is visible and where the light co-creates the ambiance. Unfortunately, there are not many such spaces. I have a professional deformity and am immediately distracted by inappropriate light. Otherwise, I really like to go to a bar that has absolutely no design ambitions, because the essentials are the food and the relaxed friendliness of the people. I like to go to Cuba or Kuhinja Krušič for lunch, and Paninoteka for soup.
In the Cubo restaurant, the lights are mostly invisible and hidden in the equipment elements. Do you place more emphasis on lighting per se or lights as decor?
When designing the interior, there is a greater emphasis on hidden lighting, which I personally prefer. I very rarely use the lamp as a structurally exposed piece. I find the lighting particularly interesting, which forces the gaze to travel through space from point to point. For example when you enter the room, you see a light on the ceiling, when you turn around, an indirectly lit spatial element attracts your attention, you turn around again and see a chair that is spot-lit.
As a designer, you probably realize your creative ideas at home as well. How did you illuminate the home, did you experience yourself with lamps or lighting?
At home, we have all the lights hidden, except for two lights from the 1970s, which are design icons. I always think that I have yet to design a light that will be good enough to put up at home.
But what is good enough?
I don't think it ever is (laughs). I am fascinated by ingenious simple solutions.
What about your free time, do you prefer to spend it far away from work or is it perhaps a time for forging new ideas?
I love traveling. Escaping to other latitudes often opens up directions for me that would be interesting to pursue in design. The light itself is changing extremely, people are trying to use it differently, and in this way traveling opens up new worlds for me. But it's probably also because that's when I'm most relaxed and open to influences. I also use my free time to go skiing, preferably off the established trails and ski slopes. There I enjoy the silence and the view of the undulating, white nature covered with snow. Real design.
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