Lighting

Light as art: an exclusive interview with the leading Dutch lighting designer

They call themselves architects of light, surpriseworld with futuristic handmade lamps and confess their love for the Russians. One of the founders of the Dutch Brand van Egmont spoke about the secrets of lighting fashion and the tastes of Russian clients. The Dutch architect William Brand and the sculptor Annette van Egmont twisted their first lamp from ordinary steel wire in 1988. And he immediately became a design icon. Since then, Brand van Egmond's "technological light painting" has conquered half the world. It is based on the idea of ​​traditional manual production, improved by modern technologies and the latest materials. The result is unique luminaires, almost all of which can be customized to suit the client's personal needs. There are some in Russia too. Etk-fashion.com editor-in-chief Oksana Kashenko met with William Brand to find out what kind of light our compatriots prefer and what new things Brand van Egmond has come up with to surprise us. William Brand, architect and designer Graduated from the University of the Arts in Utrecht, the Netherlands with a diploma in architecture. In 1989, together with sculptor Annette van Egmond, he founded Brand van Egmond and opened his own workshop, because third-party manufacturers did not want to take on such complex projects. The list of design awards received over these 25 years is barely three pages long. The founders of the company formulated their goal as "art without limits" and are still confident that only imperfect technical means can prevent them from realizing the conceived object. brandvanegmond.com - - You're right.Every year I solve a puzzle of sorts. Usually only one. This is enough. Last year, for example, it was just such an object. A new take on the traditional chandelier, a large pendant ceiling light. We named it the kelp chandelier. Do you know such a seaweed? - - Sure.Inspiration from nature, as they often say ... - - That's it. Anyone familiar with diving will understand me. Laminaria sways in the sea, permeated with trembling light. This is a movable miracle, which is hiding somewhere inside, then blinds your eyes. Just unbelieveble. It was the impetus, the source of inspiration that gave birth to this form. The idea was a great success. This is how we act - we get attention, and then we get feedback and feedback. Sometimes we use them to create something else. This is how this series came about. And then we looked around and "finalized" it, already playing with color. It became clear to us that houses are getting colder and colder, because very light or cold shades of floors and walls are in fashion. And we decided to play on contrasts and make the lamps warmer. Hence this red copper. In Europe they love it, but in Russia they prefer nickel for some reason. Although, probably, it should have been the other way around, it's colder here, isn't it? - - What inspires you and spurs your imagination?- - You can assume that I - as a writer, tell stories. Only my instrument is a little different. Behind each of my objects there is some simple and recognizable image - they are also called archetypes. For example, a ring, lock, candle, stone - something fundamental that touches us at a deep level. Therefore, with all the modernity of our lamps, they often send you to the past - they throw a bridge from the last century to a fantastic tomorrow. Like the same chandelier chandelier, whose "ancestor" was the medieval castle light. Then I develop my idea, make a sketch and quickly run to the workshop. - - How long can it take? - - It depends on the object. But I try to keep the process fast. If you delay it, you rarely get a good design - inspiration is lost while you ponder and finish all the nuances and little things. - - Can you describe how this happens onspecific example? - - Sure! Here, look, this floor lamp is from the latter. Do you know what was the original, basic element? Stone and stick. Why, you ask? Because we all came from the Stone Age. These are the most rooted, most understandable, clear images for us. They are incredibly addictive. - - You like working with metals, not reallyis it? - - In general, yes, exactly. But as a designer, I love challenges, as it is now called - it can also be a source of inspiration. Victoria and Arthur - one uniform and two models in the collection - just such a case. - - Is it the same lamp? - - Various. But the architecture, the structure of the object is the same. They are just wearing different dresses. You know that crystals are in great fashion in the Middle East. But with them it is important not to go overboard - a little extra and you get kitsch. There was a demand and there were requests, including to me. And while I'm not a big fan of crystals, I was interested in doing a good job. And I did. This chandelier with crystals - very feminine - got the name Victoria. But this one, dressed in armor, became Arthur - she is male. Feminine and masculine beginnings - you see, again the images, archetypes that are fundamental for the human personality. - - I know that you have a lot of fans andclients in Russia. How do you work with Russians? What are they ordering? - - You know, when I first came across a special order from Russia - and we often work on individual orders from private clients from all over the world - I was very pleasantly surprised. From Victoria and Arthur, Russians opt for Arthur, just like me. And I love it. Over the past 10-15 years, your taste has developed incredibly. I speak without any irony. You have lived for a very long time in a completely closed country, with almost no access to many cultural phenomena, thanks to which modern design exists as a school. It’s amazing that you didn’t get stuck in traditional thinking on the one hand and didn’t rush headlong into all the new that rushed outside. The architectural objects that I have seen in Moscow lately show that Russians are brave people with their own vision and developed artistic sense. This will only intensify further. In Russia, I did one of my favorite works. Although I create very decorative-looking things, in essence I am a minimalist architect: most of all I like to add details to this specific minimalist environment, to create an art object in a clean space. This is what I did. And it was amazing, like a sudden splash in absolutely smooth and calm water. - - What room do you like the most in the house?- - A dining room connected to the kitchen, of course. This is the heart of the home. Hearth. Family. Friends who stopped by for a glass of wine. Best place ever. I very rarely visit the living room: I have nothing to do there, and I simply do not have time for TV. But the kitchen-dining room is a completely different matter. Not only when we sit at a common table, but also when we cook, get ready for work, exchange news - this is the warmest place in the house, the most lively one. By the way, we have an excellent one for such a place. Show?.. brandvanegmond.com

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