Designed by Johanna Grawunder
Produced by Design Gallery Milano
Keywords: colored light, transparent color, reflection/refraction, opulent detailling, precision , random luxury
“Pillow Talk” is a small, opulently detailled collection of lamps and some furniture dealing with random luxury. The materials are the main protagonists of the collection and are used in an unexpected, transposed way. Architectural metal screening is used as a light filter, a kind of abat-jour lamp shade; Perspex is used in thick slabs of transparent color, as if delicate crystal chandelier pieces; polished stainless steel, a hard industrial modern age-ish citation is brought out as a glamorous and light reflective-property material; industrial aluminium extrusions define a surface texture, and steel cables are used volumetrically. Wenge wood, usually a sex symbol for expensive furniture, is basically a filler element; and fluorescent light and Pyrex never looked so good.
Luxury might not be a matter of rarity or expensive raw materials. Possibly it can also be a matter of intent. The brightly painted mud brick houses of Sinhan in Arabia, are highly decorated without narrative intention, nor symbolism, but with an intensity of intentional value. Almost coincidentally, they become signs of status and economic position within the village.
Luxury may offer the illusion of protection. When the women of rural Indian villages gorgeously decorate the walls of their mud huts with mosaics of mirror and bas-reliefs in sculpted mud, it is a prophylactic against evil and malevolent spirits. By beautifying the home with paintings and mud-relief sculptures the house and its inhabitants are protected.
Solidity can be a tool of luxury. When something is “well made”, it is understood that the intent is careful and considerate, that the “extra” involved is that most valuable investment of thought and concern. It is the exultation of human endevour in the most primitive sense.
Luxury, (of the sort I am talking about here), is a kind of constructive optimism. It is not neutral. It is armor in the form of illusion, confirmation , interpretation and intention.
There are circumstances where we can allow ourselves the confident pretensions of a minimal aesthetic; and there are circumstances where we need more armor. We also need more “amour” but that is a different story.