Home: Flip the Switch Light­ing Mi­lano-style

Ar­chi­tect Carlotta de Bevilac­qua on light­ing de­sign, ethos and the ag­ing eye

ZOOMER Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Tara Losin­ski

LIGHT IS LIFE,” says Carlotta de Bevilac­qua i n her Ital­ian-ac­cented English. “Light feeds our brains. And so it feeds our phys­i­o­log­i­cal be­hav­iours.” To her point, who can deny more pep in their step as we move in to sum­mer?

Of course, de Bevilac­qua’s realm is ar­ti­fi­cial illumination. She is a cel­e­brated light­ing de­signer known for in­no­vat­ing as with her early adop­tion of LED tech­nol­ogy. Also a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur, the 61-yearold runs her own ar­chi­tec­tural, de­sign, and graphic stu­dio along­side du­ties as vice-pres­i­dent of Mi­lan-based brand Artemide.

“I think it’s im­por­tant to stay within the idea of val­ues,” she says about the fu­ture of light­ing, us­ing the ex­am­ple of ad­vances to Artemide’s fa­mous task lamp Tolomeo (pic­tured right). In pro­duc­tion since 1986, it was con­verted to en­er­gysav­ing LED in 2006. And in 2010, the com­pany added tune­able tech­nol­ogy. “So you could have a Tolomeo and if you need to read, you could tune it to the colder [brighter white] setting and if you need only to have am­bi­ence light­ing, you can go warmer,” she ex­plains. This is help­ful as we age, she notes, as mus­cles that con­trol our pupils weaken, im­pair­ing pupil re­sponse to widen in dim or dark set­tings. To com­pen­sate, we need to brighten our sur­round­ings – es­pe­cially for fine tasks. “We be­come the au­thor of our light.”

In the fu­ture, she predicts, “We will dis­cover how to pro­vide the best light, lower en­ergy, [bet­ter] in­ter- ac­tion and so on.” This holis­tic ap­proach is ev­i­dent with Al­go­ritmo (above), launched last year. She de­signed the fix­ture to be eas­ily cus­tomiz­able with patented high-ef­fi­ciency lights.

An in­ter­na­tional speaker and a lec­turer at Polytech­nic Univer­sity of Mi­lan, de Bevilac­qua is pass­ing on her ideals. “I say to the stu­dents, ‘It’s very im­por­tant [that] the first part [of de­sign] is giv­ing value. It’s also very im­por­tant to de­liver for the planet.’” Tolomeo from $210. Al­go­ritmo from $400, artemide.ca

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