Italian Lighting from Matteo Ugolini

People / Products / September 30, 2016

Global Lighting recently introduced five new lights in their Stratos collection, made by Karman in Italy. Matteo Ugolini, Karman’s Art Director since 2008, designed the Snoob, Sky, and Makeup fixtures. We recently interviewed him via email:

Where do you find your designers at Karman?
The designers we work with need to own the “Karman factor” that is the ability to convey emotions, and tell a story through shapes and materials.

What kind of talent are you looking for?
Karman lights are unexpected, humorous, magical, and create surreal atmospheres. In short, not the normal expectations for lights and so we look for these same qualities in the talent that we work with.

How do you describe these lighting pieces to someone who’s never seen them?
Materials with a texture that give a soul to the object and have a history, a culture linked to Italy and our heritage.

The materials used?
For these three new lights I used lacquered aluminum, perforated steel, and glass.

The inspiration for their design?
SNOOB has a silhouette reminiscent of the chandeliers that exist in the richest Baroque palaces in Italy, brought into the 21st century.
MAKE UP was inspired by revisiting the vintage incandescent bulb, born by the British genius of Joseph Swan in 1850.
SKY was inspired by idea of the galaxy. How could I capture the night sky in a light and bring it indoors?

The intent of their design?
I like to create a light that surprises every time and does not remain unnoticed. My lights make their environments pleasant and welcoming .

Obstacles to overcome in their creation?
We’ve never encountered major problems, our passion makes them leapfrog over challenges. Sometimes there is a technical issue that needs to comply with the fantasy of the designer, but we work until it is solved.

Who is your target market?
They are the people who have never stopped dreaming!

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Michael Welton
I write about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. I am the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" (Routledge, 2015), and the former architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.




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