This unique issue focuses entirely on the German international interiors show IMM. Celebrated Czech designer Lucie Koldova was selected to create this year’s Das Haus installation. We take you into her “light house” in this issue. You won’t want to miss this ride through emotions. Scandinavian design has been a much-talked-about trend, but today the lifestyle moves forward and merges into a new era: Lagom. Learn more in Lagom: The New Minimalism in Home Living. Designers and manufacturers work together on decorative lighting, with a weighted understanding that it affects mood, health and performance. We unveil the latest collaborations in this issue and give insight from like-minded professionals.
Czech designer Lucie Koldova represents the importance of light on living in her Das Haus installation at IMM 2018 in Cologne, Germany.
The conceptual house “Light Levels – Ebenen des Lichts“ by Lucie Koldova accentuated the link between practical requirements and emotional needs. In each room, she devised a layout in...
At IMM Cologne this year, visitors discovered a range of light-guided moods throughout the fair, notably atPure 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 designerLucie Koldova, who is current art director ofBrokis, was invited to design this year’s version ofDas 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 (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 companyEbb & 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
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 ofEnlightened Design atimm 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.
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 newdecorative 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.
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German companies controLED and RFID GmbH by Geschwister Flötotto launched the let’s be smart project with Koelnmesse for the 2018 IMM event. Several of the top tech and furniture companies leading the IoT industry today partnered with them to generate a truly smart home in which everything works together. Located in the Pure Architects section, the Smart Home exhibition displayed the seamless integration of their products.
The future of intelligent homes is closer than near, it’s finally here. In the let’s be smart exhibition, every object with a potential for connectivity came in IoT form, with Alexa sitting at the forefront of the smart home, readily awaiting commands.
“There’s an app for every device here down to the smallest one,” said controLED’s Tim Skrok during the guided tour.
You can find out how much coffee is left in your machine simply by looking at your smartphone or by asking Alexa.
Do we really need an entirely connected home? Skrok asked the visitors. No, he said. But it will simplify the life of those who enjoy having connected objects and find themselves with many. He also explained how several products could reduce damage costs and prevent fatal or severe injuries.
The smart entrance to the main house of the exhibition had a fingerprint detection system, a chip-coded card reader, and even a keyhole for those who prefer entering the traditional way. Whenever the resident comes home at night, the entry verification process also prompts on the interior lights to avoid entering a dark space. A visitor call system via an app allows homeowners to answer while away and let visitors in if necessary.
The smart entrance by Biffar, presented at the let’s be smart exhibition.
Inside the Ultimate Smart Home
The entryway revealed a medium-sized mirror by Dirror hanging on the wall, which turns into the central station, the master controller for all IoT objects. From this station we can directly select the level of lighting in a specific room, adjust the temperature, set the music, change the artwork displayed on The Frame by Samsung, close or open room dividers, verify the remaining time for the washer and dryer, get the steamer going in the Grohe wellness shower, and the list continues.
Miele’s smart washing machine
The bathroom featured Grohe’s wellness toilet—Japanese style—and wellness shower with waterproof speakers connected via Bluetooth, along with its programmable steamer. The washing machine included Grohe’s Sense Guard, which detects a broken pipe and turns off the water supply before major leak damage occurs. The kitchen countertop by Nolte Kitchens hid touch sensors which turned lights on or dimmed them, a nice feature when cooking. Meanwhile, Miele kitchen appliances can be activated via smartphone or Alexa through its mobile app. In the living area, the furniture housed invisible speakers thanks to Flexound® Xperience.
Learn more about the smart features included in the micro-apartment and office on the let’s be smart website and find all the products presented in the exhibition here—in German only.
Let’s Talk Energy and Materials!
Let’s be smart highlighted sustainable and eco-friendly solutions. In the driveway, Tesla’s Model X electric car was parked along the E-Mobility station housing the Powerwall, a solar energy home battery.
Powerwall detects grid outages and automatically becomes your home’s main energy source. Protect your home from the next power outage and keep your lights on, phones charged and no puddles under the fridge.
The Powerwall, a solar energy home battery. Courtesy of Tesla
An overall success and an excellent example of the force of collaboration, the physical look of the exhibition was developed by using the 3-D interior design software from pCon, which invited visitors to play with the VR version on site.
In this opinion piece by architect Marina Kodakoff, whose research office RSK Architecture focuses on architecture and neuroscience, the use of LEDs is questioned. Kodakoff, trained by Pharmacist Dr Jessica Martin and Cancer Researchers Gabriele Sulli and Dr Pauline Hamdan, explains the current issue with LEDs and offers a potential solution in her article.
Good lighting is a key element of interior design. We can paint the walls the best color, use a nice flooring material and display beautiful furniture and decorative objects. But if the lighting is inappropriate, it can undercut the effect. Lights can change a room’s atmosphere. Fixture and bulb characteristics, including intensity, color temperature (measured in Kelvin), color rendering index and beam angle will affect how we perceive and respond to the emitted light.
The blue wavelengths in indoor lighting can interfere with circadian rhythms.
While most architects and designers know how to make good aesthetic use of lights, their impact on our lives is often left out of the equation. Light has a powerful physiological effect on us, influencing sleep, mood, eating habits, mental efficiency and psychological state.
The blue wavelengths in indoor lighting can interfere with circadian rhythms—our biological clock. Natural light also includes the blue end of the spectrum, but blue fades as the day goes by, disappearing before sunset. Hence the color red that we can notice when the sun is setting.
Courtesy of GERA Leuchten
LEDs emit more blue light than other artificial lighting. The higher the Kelvin number, the more blue the light contains. In addition to their harmful effects on the retina, blue wavelengths can disrupt or even inhibit the production of melatonin. This hormone allows our body to switch to “sleep mode.”
LEDs are becoming the most widespread source of artificial lighting thanks to their energy-saving properties. The question is, How should we use them?
Ideally, we should avoid exposure to LEDs and other sources of artificial blue light after 4 pm, otherwise it may disturb the circadian cycle, delaying the secretion of melatonin and the onset of sleep. Researchers and light manufacturers are working on removing blue wavelengths from LEDs, while maintaining light quality and the cool white aesthetics.
Courtesy of GERA Leuchten
In the meantime, we could multiply the sources of artificial light and use other types of bulbs or warmer white/yellow LEDs below 3500 Kelvin after 4 pm. On the design side, many low-power lights produce a nicer effect than a single, very bright source. In addition, multiple and diffuse sources of light eliminate dark areas and make a room feel more comfortable.
Patrice Bourgin studies (Researcher at CNRS): “Melanopsin as a Sleep Modulator: Circadian Gating of the Direct Effects of Light on Sleep and Altered Sleep Homeostasis”
European Commission. Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks, Health Effects of Artificial Light, European Union, 2012. Martel, Anadi.
Le pouvoir de la lumière – à l’aube d’une nouvelle médecine, Guy Trédaniel, 2016
Foundational concepts in neuroscience ‘’A brain – mind odyssey’’, Norton, 2016
Antonio Damasio “Healing Architecture”
Predicting the future is an art form, but it’s slightly easier when you have some 1,400 exhibitors showcasing some of the best home furnishings design from 51 countries in one spot. At IMM 2018, visitors kicked off each morning with a 90-minute trend tour by Anton Van Der Lande. Here are four hot trends which will be big topics this year, according to this industry insider.
1. New Classics
Second time’s a charm. The trend of taking product success stories from the 50s and 60s and re-releasing them continues in 2018. A perfect example, two limited-edition releases of the classic Verner Panton chair for Vitra. Van Der Lande explained:
It was created 50 years ago, so they have a jubilee now.
Pushing this trend—and adding a fresh face to these retro designs—is 21st century technology. For the decision-makers at Vitra, that means dramatic new finishes for the cantilevered Panton classic. Kill the lights and the limited-edition Panton Glow glows blue in the dark, thanks to five layers of phosphorescent varnish and a high-gloss protective coating. Its sister chair, the Panton Chrome, mirrors its surroundings with metal particles embedded in multiple layers of varnish.
Panton Glow (left) and Panton Chrome (right) chairs by Verner Panton for Vitra. Photo courtesy of Vitra.
2. Outside In
More and more, the natural world is coming inside in innovative ways. “You’ll see a lot of floral designs, a lot of flowers, a lot of plants,” explains Van Der Lande.
Last year for the first time, animals were introduced, but, well…they are gone. Now it is all floral.
This trend extends to materials. With an ecological binder, Organoid Technologies presses natural materials into surfaces. Think flooring and acoustical paneling made of raked Alpine hay and Swiss pine wood chips you can smell. Lean in for an earthy hint of the outdoors. Daisies, leaves and rose petals are all mixed in for a study in nostalgia, evoking memories of long-ago summer days.
Daisies go into surfacing by Organoid Technologies. Photo courtesy of Organoid Technologies.
3. Goodbye Chrome
With a few exceptions—the Chrome Panton chair—shiny days are over. IMM 2018 offered very little in the form of chrome. “Chrome is gone, because you don’t sell it,” says Van Der Lande.
Sure it is still there, but brushed or painted. Not shiny chrome.
This anti-chrome trend is in part due to LEDs now dominating the lighting market. “LED is too cold,” Van Der Lande continues. “With LEDs, tomato soup looks brown. You just don’t want that over your tomato soup. You must have an element of warmth to combine it with, like copper, gold, ceramics or wood.”
The Bund collection is part of the first IMM product launch by Stellar Works, which was founded in 2012. Photo courtesy of Stellar Works.
The Bund collection by designers Neri&Hu, founders of Asian brand Stellar Works, consists of bar stools, dining and lounge chairs, and an ottoman with Art Deco curves inspired by a historic district in Shanghai. The legs of varying height are only offered in natural or stained wood—no chrome in sight.
The Bund collection by Neri&Hu for Asian brand Stellar Works. Photo courtesy of Stellar Works.
“Far Eastern motifs are also strong,” adds Van Der Lande. “Neri&Hu did experimental home Das Haus at IMM in 2015, and their brand gives you the feeling that you are in China.”
4. Lighting, Lighting and More Lighting
Lighting had a very strong presence at IMM 2018. “It’s everywhere. It’s even big enough for IMM to start a hall of only lighting next year,” Van Der Lande notes. This lighting is also predominantly warm—a feat that requires special attention with LEDs. For the third edition of Enlightened Design, a gathering of lights displayed between halls at the fair, wood was the material of choice by two Dutch designers.
To create the precise geometry of Angles, Beams and Ovals pendant lights, Alex Groot Jebbink placed LEDs between geometric shapes formed from laser-cut thin sheets of MDF. Meanwhile, copper applied to the interior adds a hint of glamour to the octagonal geometry of Francoise Oostwegel’s oak veneer Zuid lamp.
The Ovals pendant light by Alex Groot Jebbink. Photo courtesy of Alex Groot Jebbink.
However, the spotlight on lighting was most apparent in Das Haus 2018, an exploration of light by 34-year-old Czech designer Lucie Koldova. To create a dream house she called Light Levels, Koldova designed new lighting products for Bokis. Vines, a tumble of glowing orbs,is prominently displayed in the bedroom and the bathroom. Jack’o lantern welcomes with a cheerful glow at the front door.
The light forest: cream-to-white Ivy pendants designed by Koldova for the project