Japanese designer Kazuhiro Yamanaka designed four lamps for Pallucco, two of which are new additions to Pallucco’s collection and have been presented for the first time at Euroluce 2017. In the interview below you can find out what inspired him for his designs.
Born in Tokyo in 1971, Kazuhiro Yamanaka graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 1997 and realized many projects in the field of design: from furniture design to lighting design to installations. He has been rewarded with several awards including the Design Report Award 2004. His Rainy Day lamp, designed for Pallucco, is part of the permanent collection of MoMA in New York. He has been a jury member in many international design competitions, including HKDA Design Awards 2009 and Designboom International Design Competitions and since 2014 he is an Associate Professor at Musashino Art University in Tokyo.
When and how did your collaboration with Pallucco begin?
“I have been working with Pallucco since 2004. I was immediately inspired by the company’s philosophy, which touched me and which I always try to transfer to my designs. It’s not easy for me, but it’s an everyday challenge “.
COLLAPSIBLE MOON – Images 1,2 & 3
Which was the inspiration for this lamp?
“I really like the frame of the spotlights used in the photographic field and I thought that, if I had inserted a light in it, it would have become a moon.
The moon has always fascinated me since I was a kid. I love the shadow that is generated in the center of the lamp by the light, which is perimetric and radiates towards the center “.
The unique characteristic of this lamp is that it can be folded and placed in a hand bag and it is easy to carry.
“Yes, I wanted to create a product that was easy to move from one room to another, leaving total freedom in its application. At the same time, I wanted to meet the needs of the company by giving them a product which is easy to dispatch”.
In your opinion, which are the applications of Collapsible Moon?
“My aim was to create a lamp with a strong character but very simple to maintain and to use. Collapsible Moon can simply lean against the wall – this was my original idea – but it can also be fixed to it. The size of this lamp is important because I wanted to evoke the moon itself, but I’m also thinking of a smaller version for those who have little room at their disposal. It is very easy to use because you just need to plug it into the socket”.
Which material did you use for this lamp?
“I used nylon, harmonic steel and strip LEDs. I chose nylon for its ability to spread the reflected light, harmonic steel to allow the lamp to fold over itself and the strip LED because it is flexible. The result is an illuminated circle just like a full moon”.
GRAFFITI – Images 4 & 5
Which was the starting point for the project of Graffiti?
“I had several metal tubes in my studio and, thinking about the light that this material emanated, I wondered what I could create. I also design objects for the interior, but mostly lighting. I like to think that design is also a game, an object with which people can interact and that can modify according to their own taste by creating a customized design, and light is well suited for this purpose”.
In which kind of space would you place Graffiti considering its characteristics? What is its ideal location?
“The suspension version is ideal above a table in a reading room or in a study, while the applique version is suited for living areas and especially for narrow spaces such as corridors, thanks to its simple shape which makes it non-bulky at all. Due to its characteristics, Graffiti perfectly decorates a wall, although in a discreet way thanks to its fine lines. Furthermore, it creates a game of light during the day: indeed, thanks to the shadows that are created on the wall and the reflections of the sun on the metal tubes, Graffiti decorates and illuminates even when it is off”.
If this lamp were in your studio, how would you compose it?
“I think I would change the composition quite often depending on my mood. I do not like static products and I can imagine this lamp in different ways according to my feelings: with metal tubes aligned in fluid lines or with intertwined elements for a more dynamic effect”.
How does it light up the room in which it is placed?
“The light points downwards to illuminate, for example, a table but also upwards to illuminate the ceiling. Graffiti thus creates a relaxing atmosphere thanks to the indirect light that it emanates”.
RAINY DAY – Images 6 & 7
Why did you choose Rainy Day as a name for this lamp?
“I really like the reflection it creates when it lays down on the ground. It reminds me of a rainy day when, at the end, there are puddles and you can see the world through them”.
In which colours is it available? Can different colours be combined?
“The lamp is made up of white or yellow circles that can be freely combined. It is possible to create lines of lamps or to stack them one over another, always creating new sculptures with different colour combinations”.
ROCK GARDEN – images 8,9 & 10
What was the inspiration for Rock Garden?
“I really liked this geometric shape and I thought I could imagine it as light. At first, I thought of a rectangular version with more pyramids, then I decided to create a version with individual suspensions for a more minimal look. Rock Garden is a very sober and stylized lamp with just a hint of color”.
Your lamps are not very colourful, is this on purpose?
“Yes, I prefer white or black. I do not like the lamp to become the main object in a room. Man is the main element of the room and not the objects around. Furthermore, non-colors never annoy and so the object becomes an evergreen “.