The Spanish designer reveals his latest collections
Most lighting designers can easily recall the a-ha moment that first sparked their foray into the world of luminaires. For Arturo Álvarez, that instance occurred while holding a sheet of frosted glass. The material inspired him to want to create a lamp and ever since then, he hasn’t stopped. The Spanish designer’s meteoric rise to success followed his modern update to the traditional Tiffany lamp. Decades later, the Spanish designer is still fascinated by hand-making new creations out of old-world compositions. And yet, his work continues to evolve. His latest designs, presented at Euroluce during Milan Design Week 2017, showcase a new turn in his career: linking the worlds of illumination and art.
Having designed decorative lighting for over 20 years, Álvarez has constantly been moved by the natural energies that surround him. Manufacturing in the northwest of Spain near Santiago de Compostela, it’s easy to see how the region’s diverse rock formations have influenced his sculptural approach to design. Like a sponge, his process starts by “absorbing everything” around him: colours, trips, landscapes, architecture, people and gardens. Though the organic world is still a constant catalyst in his practice, Álvarez’s newest collections are elevated through the use of futuristic materials, forms and textures. Moreover, his ARTWORK series (an exclusive and limited collection of experimental lights) is now attracting worldwide attention.
Following a successful reception in Milan, he has been showcasing his new collections in three major design appointments in the United States: HD Expo in Las Vegas, ICFF in New York and NeoCon in Chicago. With everyone seemingly buzzing about Álvarez’s latest experimentations, we take a closer look at a few of the new collections.
Arturo Álvarez’s New Collections
The URA collection effortlessly fits into Álvarez’s self-described world of “emotional lights”. Characteristic of his affinity for ever-changing nature, these painted stainless steel mesh lamps easily breathe life into any room. Each piece is handcrafted in the atelier, creating a completely unique texture made up of subtle folds. The lamps can be combined freely to make a voluminous statement or displayed individually to create a delicate aesthetic.
Resembling clouds, the PILI pendant lamps appear to buoyantly hang mid-air – beckoning viewers to solve their swirling enigma. The secret behind their whimsical charm is a single painted stainless steel thread, which is interwoven to create an airy sculpture. These lamps are available in two sizes, allowing for a stunning visual display when combined. Pili also impressed the editors at Interior Design magazine.
Designed to evoke visions of marine life, Álvarez’s ONN collection comprises ceiling and pendant lamps in shapes reminiscent of shells, jellyfish and corals. Made out of painted stainless steel mesh, the ONN luminaires are an instant conversation starter when placed on ceilings or walls.
Arturo Álvarez’s Ballet collection is a result of experimentation with SIMETECH, Álvarez’s own patented stainless steel mesh with a silicone covering application. The dynamic material, awarded Best of the Year 2014 by Interior Design Magazine, is highly malleable and mouldable. In the case of Ballet, gathered vertexes form asymmetrical shapes that appear differently from various points of view. Illumination beautifully escapes through its corners and fluid mesh-like material, creating an awe-inspiring dance of light and shadows.
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