#42 - IMM Special

Lighting for Mood, Health and Performance

Courtesy of Marc de Groot

At IMM Cologne this year, visitors discovered a range of light-guided moods throughout the fair, notably at Pure Editions.


Indoor lighting has moved beyond its original function to illuminate and has become a tool for designers to generate an entire atmosphere in a space, affecting people’s moods, health and performance. Research has revealed that warmer correlated color temperature (CCT) causes subjects to feel calmer and more awake, and certain illuminance and CCT “can have a waking effect on the central nervous system.”


Rooms for Feeling


Czech designer Lucie Koldova, who is current art director of Brokis, was invited to design this year’s version of Das Haus at imm Cologne, where she chose to give lighting the leading role, demonstrating in different cellular zones how it suits varying individual needs throughout the day. Koldova emphasizes decorative lighting’s capacity to influence mood.

“Light can make you comfortable, light can calm you down, light can keep you up when you need. Everyone can choose what he or she prefers,” she said in an interview with ArchiExpo e-Magazine.

Muffins by Brokis lighting, designed by Lucie Koldova

Muffins (2014) by Brokis lighting, designed by Lucie Koldova

The designer recommends, however, to exercise or practise yoga instead of relying on light when it comes to stress.

All glass lighting in the Das Haus is produced by Czech company Brokis, specialized in the tradition of Bohemian glass. Such pieces included Ivy, Big One, Jack O’Lantern and Puro Sparkle, released for the first time at IMM Cologne.

The Puro was intended to send off a symbolic sparkle and welcome visitors into Koldova’s light-themed house. Its noble yet minimalistic geometry constitutes the centrepiece of the Das Haus concept, according to Koldova.

“Sparkles levitate in space and dominate the interior landscape. It is a light sculpture and the embodiment of positive energy.”


Brighten Your Mood


Danish company Ebb & Flow makes use of lightings ability to encourage a positive mood through use of color. All of their designs intend to bring feelings of warmth and joy into a space.

They released new glass and metal pendants at IMM Cologne including Horizon and Smykke, and also introduced a collection of fabric pendants and table lamps that fit onto a glass base.

“The fusion of the [glass and fabric] has created a beautiful new range of table lamps and pendants, and opened up a lush and luxurious world of texture and color,” the company’s founder Susanne Nielsen notes on the Ebb & Flow website.

Nielsen, who is from Denmark originally, spent many years working in London before returning to Denmark in 2009. Both British and Nordic styles influence Ebb & Flow’s lighting collections.

Ebb & Flow Rowan Pendant lamp

Ebb & Flow Rowan Pendant lamp


Mental State of Mathematics


Mood and emotion may not be what we associate with measurements and mathematics, but there is an ancient tradition of calculating beauty, from the Fibonacci sequence to Da Vinci’s  use of the Golden Ratio. Marc de Groot, Dutch designer who exhibited as part of Enlightened Design at imm Cologne uses Fibonacci’s sequence to create feelings through lighting pieces. He spoke to ArchiExpo e-Magazine:

You can see the relationships between measurements in nature—the spiral of the seashell or if you count the petals on a flower. It gives some peace and quiet to experience.

De Groot hand-makes complex geometric lights in brushed aluminum and brass, materials he chooses for their durability and ability to age gracefully. Folded from metal pieces, Fractal, released this year, and Beehive illuminate in patterns “like the light that comes through a tree,” said de Groot.

Marc de Groot lighting handmade crafts metal imm interiors archiexpo emagazine

Marc de Groot at work. Courtesy of the designer.

Fractal and Beehive were part of Enlightened Design II along with five other Dutch designers, Atelier Arnout VisserBernotat & CoStudio Çedille Design and a-LEX. Earlier this year, De Groot worked with Enlightened Design II for a decorative lighting show in the crypt of St Pancras Parish Church during the London Design Festival.

The fractal, standing fixture, by Marc de Groot. Courtesy of the designer.

The fractal, standing fixture, by Marc de Groot. Courtesy of the designer.

At IMM Cologne, Enlightened Design aspired to transport the illuminated crypt atmosphere to the passage between Halls 2 and 3. In March of 2018, de Groot will launch Juno, the newest addition to his lighting collection, at Index Dubai.


Movie Light Magic


On set, lighting can evoke a vast range of emotions among movie-going audiences. Swiss textile company Forster Rhoner creates film lighting for Carpetlight using their e-broidery® LED textile technology. Forster Rhoner combines fabric and LEDs to create fabrics that illuminate. The textiles are washable and drape-able and can range from a fine voile to a heavy dimout fabric. Standard connectors provide power supply, usually through a UBS A plug. Their LED fabrics take audiences on an emotional ride in television series like “Vikings” or movies like soon to be released “The Aftermath.”

Forster Rhoner introduced its new decorative LED textile collection Illumination at Heimtextil and IMM Cologne 2018. The fourth generation Swiss-based family company’s long-running experience with textiles, along with competency in material science, textile technology and electrical engineering has enabled them to produce highly innovative textile solutions in home lighting design, adding the magic of the movies to any interior space.


Tradition and Technology in One


Vanory exhibited its vivid mood light made of handblown glass. Vanory combines smart lighting technology with a unique textile fabric. Access to the Vanory Mood Collection provides a variety of exclusive content. Regardless of calm and easygoing, cool and clear or colorful and exciting; they form the right mood with extraordinary light effects. The moving pictures here demonstrate a small selection in a quick run to give a first impression. If another mood is desired, touch the panel at the top of the luminaire or click the Vanory smartphone app. The integrated Wifi can be connected to various on-line services, which serve as a source of information for illustrated moods.

Courtesy of Vanory

About the Author

Hilary Edesess is a freelance journalist based in Marseille, France. She blogs about culture, art and urban design.

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