Figures of Light

Stunning modern lights expertly combine organicism and geometry in silhouettes that reflect life as much as they illuminate it.

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June 23, 2023

modern lighting sixtysix superloon jasper morrison
modern lighting sixtysix superloon jasper morrison

Superloon, Flos

The bright full moon of Jasper Morrison’s Superloon exudes a perfect dimmable, flattering light. The inspiration for the lamp comes from the technology that makes it possible: LED “Edge Lighting” that sends the light sideways across Superloon’s translucent white disc to stunning effect. “Mounting the disc on a gyroscopic axis sends the light in infinite directions. The light it gives out is broad and diffused but can be dimmed to a soft glow,” Jasper says. $5,550

modern lighting sixtysix arco lamp
modern lighting sixtysix arco lamp 2

Arco, Flos

Brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni designed Arco for Flos in 1962, and it came to define what a floor lamp should look like. The inspiration for the light comes from streetlights but reimagined for the home with Carrara marble and stainless steel. The marble base is precisely engineered so the lamp can stand on a minimal footprint, with beveled corners to minimize the pain of hitting a shin on it, and with a perfectly located hole to stick a broom handle through so two people can easily carry the lamp, balanced, to its location in the home. $3,925

modern lighting sixtysix chiara mario bellini
modern lighting sixtysix chiara mario bellini 2

Chiara, Flos

Designing the Chiara lamp in 1969, Mario Bellini was inspired by deflected natural light brightening spaces. “Instead of saying, ‘Let’s design a lamp,’ I said, ‘Let’s design an apparatus that can take light from an artificial source and send it back into our surroundings with a certain intelligence and grace,’” he says. Mario cut a shape on a piece of card and folded it into a cylinder with a hat modeled after a nun’s veil. With some refinement (and a transition to stainless steel), Chiara was born. $3,125

modern lighting sixtysix wotumbu ingo maurer
modern lighting sixtysix wotumbu 2

Wo-Tum-Bu 2, Ingo Maurer

Traditional handcraft transforms Japanese paper into the delicate, cocoon-like Wo-Tum-Bu lamp designed by Ingo Maurer and paper artist Dagmar Mombach. The paper is formed through an elaborate eight-step dyeing process and rolled into a form reminiscent of the organic and soft sculptures of artist Isamu Noguchi. The layered glow is textured and entirely individual, each paper shade slightly different from the next thanks to the handmade manufacturing process. $2,199

modern lighting sixtysix ic lights
modern lighting sixtysix ic lights michael anastassiades 2

IC Lights Floor, Flos

The IC Lights Floor is an example of how softness and rigid geometry can create a satisfying tension in a light fixture. The opaline glass sphere diffuser sits atop its arm in a delicate balance akin to the moment a contact juggler’s ball hovers at the tip of his fingers. The resulting lamps are called IC in reference to the identity code used to evaluate immigrants entering the UK. $1,155

modern lighting sixtysix muffins light

Muffins Lamp, Brokis

The playful Muffins Lamp lightens the mood as well as the room, its blown contoured glass resting on a solid wood cylinder. Designed by Lucie Koldova and Dan Yeffet, the lamp is inspired by baking as an analogy for product design, where multiple ingredients combine for beautiful results. Muffins’ glass shades are blown by master glassmakers who scrutinize the molten glass to be sure it is flawless, allowing the filament light bulb at its center to cast a lovely, lighthearted ambience.


Lighting courtesy of Luminaire Chicago

A version of this article originally appeared in Sixtysix Issue 10 with the headline “Figures of Light.” Subscribe today.

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