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The function and beauty of light according to Francesca Smiraglia

The designer talks about the latest projects created for Kdln between lighting and decoration

Feminine and bold, evocative, and contemporary: this is the style of designer Francesca Smiraglia, born in 1983 and specialized in lighting design. Her approach is punctual and rigorous and translates into lights that illuminate and decorate, becoming part of the domestic context in a lively and elegant way. Formal inspiration has unlimited sources and here, for example, a hat of the Duchess of Cambridge becomes the inspiration for the Kate lamp, designed by Smiraglia for Kdln, a lighting company with which a fruitful collaboration in the field was born, as she herself tells.

What is your background and what led you to choose design?

Since I was a child, I have had a passion for drawing. The artistic training, I received during high school of art, made me discover a strong aptitude for design, which I subsequently deepened during my university studies in industrial design at the Polytechnic of Milan. In those years I became passionate about the subject of light and its beauty, and this led me to specialize in lighting design and lighting product design.

For me, design represents transversality, curiosity, and imagination, it represents the “doing” or, better, the “planning” that already distinguishes the life of each of us but applied to projects and objects for the environments that man discovers, inhabits and lives, making them personal.

How did the collaboration with Kdln come about and what do you like about this company?

In the past I included some of the company’s products in my lighting projects and so I thought I would propose some ideas. The collaboration with Kdln began with the Dala ceiling lamp, which immediately aroused interest as it was a deco-architectural product and therefore in line with the company’s vision. New developments and proposals were then followed over the years, through very specific briefings with the company, which led to the design of objects that demonstrated functional light performance with a timeless design. I consider Kdln to be a transversal company that has grasped the importance of the Light material in the creation of functional yet decorative luminaires. Kdln objects furnish the space with their own sign and identity, working on different levels of quality and quantity of light, guaranteeing a heterogeneous offer for lighting addicts.

When designing light for a space, what are the priorities?

During the design phase of a lighting product, I think of objects that can take on an aesthetic value and timeless presence, represent and define the function of light based on their power, size, and location in a space. Design thinking manifests itself first, (perhaps due to professional deformation, being a lighting designer) in thinking about light as quantity, emission, distribution, and appearance, to then be accompanied by the object, by the product that contains and then manifests the light. However, the lighting product also lives when turned off, so it is important that it can integrate and become part of a space even when it is not in use.

What are the strengths of Dala and Dala Linear?

Dala and Dala Linear are two deco-architectural products based on direct and diffused lighting, delicate and gentle shapes, graphic and timeless design, essential features, and stylistic compactness. Dala welcomes a diffused and soft light without shielding the diffuser too much and thus guaranteeing vertical illumination; on the contrary, Dala Linear displays a diffused and direct light shielded by the two frames of the structure, designed to avoid glare on workstations and desks.

What is the concept of the Kate lamp and for which spaces is it imagined?

Kate is a large ceiling light with a symmetrical shape but positioned on the ceiling (or wall) in an asymmetrical manner, to modulate the space in an unconventional way, both with its presence and with the light emitted. Kate was born to guarantee a very wide diffusion of light. Here, therefore, the solid geometric shape such as that of the cone is associated with an important light source. It is perfect for large spaces such as large living rooms, foyers and waiting areas, in general for both the contract and residential sectors.

Where did the idea of introducing a note of color into the Model T lamp come from?

Three notes of color for the Model T Pop version! The inspiration comes from different currents and movements such as De Stijl, Bauhaus and post-modernism. The design synthesis includes the three different colors associated with three simple geometric figures such as the circle, the square and the rectangle, which act as a counterweight to the cylindrical and three-dimensional diffuser.


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