Functional art finds itself in a space where utilitarian objects – furniture, tableware, and lighting, among others – take an aesthetic turn, emphasising both the functional and artistic qualities of design. Rather than purely design objects, functional art is practical and focuses on usability in everyday life. These pieces do not compromise on aesthetic value, instead integrating the maker’s point of view into the function itself. Attention to craftsmanship and innovative details encourage us to reimagine the possibilities of the pieces around us, allowing for an aesthetically influenced space with functional necessities.
In the realm of functional art, lighting can have great aesthetic value while maintaining its purpose of illuminating a space. This edit presents a selection of sculptural lighting solutions, focusing in on a design trend which moves beyond traditional lighting design and brings new, inspiring, and abstracted forms to functional pieces. The designers make use of a multitude of materials – marble, wood, ceramic, steel, and glass – to develop collectible pieces which go beyond the necessity of light. Whether they are pendant lights, floor lamps, or table lamps, these selected pieces bring a unique visual interest to a space.
Adrian Cruz Elements, “Bulbe” Lamp
The sphere is the fundamental piece of the collection. This unique light bulb is fully made in crystal resin with a concavity that captures movement and lightness in the material. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, shaped by a mould, forming the sculpture from resin. The “Buble” Lamp combines onyx and resin which, for designer Adrian Cruz, depicts the contrast between precious nature and modern man creation.
Andreas Berlin, “Shadow 24 Orange” Table/Floor Lamp
Reduced forms create fascinating light sculptures, a play with reflection, light and shadow. Formally very clearly sculptural in its effect. The luminaire series, “Shadow”, plays with the effects of light, shadow and reflection. The four circular surfaces form a “square” which is both lampshade and base at the same time. When the lamp is on, the circular areas conjure up a beautiful shadow ornament on the floor or stand.
Antoñito y Manolín, “BRAVÉ” 01 Pendant Lamp
The phonetic transcription of “BRAVAIS” into Spanish language, «BRAVÉ», suggests courage and bravery. The combination of warm and soft materials (solid wood and burnished brass) with LED light tubes showcases this challenge. The result: expanded constructions of lightweight appearance. Geometric layouts of a resounding yet ethereal look, full of functional and artistic possibilities. A blend of past and present, retro-future design.
BORGI BASTORMAGI, “BEVEL” Lighting Device
“BEVEL” is a lighting piece that accentuates the corner condition with a linear accent light. With reflective marble, Bevel communicates between the corner and the rest of the space. The steel frame and tubular light make a strong structural statement, while maintaining the functional need for illumination.
Carol Gay, “Cactus Lamp”
The “Cactus Lamp” has been created from experimentation with the craft process of glassblowing and the results from other processes already made on this material. The raw material used is glass, it doesn’t contain lead in its composition, it is recyclable and uses an electric oven, without CO2 burning. The base is made in white-gray Brazilian marble, labored in fillets and assembled one by one by hand. The result is a unique piece where weight, lightness, and transparency act out together.
Hanna Anonen, “Cocktail” Ceiling Light
The “Cocktail” Ceiling Light is a wooden ceiling light inspired by the mixed color layers of fizzy drinks. These radiant color combinations and playfully shuffling sticks catch the eye, and the light works well in homes and public spaces. Material, color, and form come together, creating an intriguing and unique, yet functional piece.
Martín Azúa, “Vase Lamp”
Created by Martín Azúa Studio, this “Vase Lamp” is handmade from white-fire clay, giving it an earthy texture reminiscent of the Mediterranean. It is “an exhibitor of little memories from walks in the countryside” and can be customized with branches, dried flowers, sticks, seeds — anything that contains personal significance for the user.
Mette Schelde, “Reflect”
The “Reflect” wall lamp consists of a light stick and a big, solid aluminium reflector. The reflector has a black gradient print, which makes it possible to change the reflected light when the disc is rotated. The intensity of the reflected light depends on where on the disc the light waves hit. Rotate the disc by hand and change the atmosphere of the room.
rlon, “x knows y”
There is no x without a y. These two friends have known each other for so long, they don’t leave the house without one another. Some say they even played together before z came around. To celebrate their friendship, rlon created this decent yet wicked ceiling lamp. Two of their favourite illuminants have been attached to a raw steel tube that itself is suspended on a rope.
Yves Pauwels, “TETRIS” Table Lamp, Gold
While experimenting with material, the idea for the “TETRIS” Table Lamp came to designer Yves Pauwels. Made from metal that was cut and stretched in the atelier, the forms produce a charming play of light and shadow that appears on both the wall and ceiling.