Italy-based brand Contardi Lighting likes to stay ahead of the curve. Known for inspired, artistic lighting fixtures that defy convention, Contardi has become an innovative lighting source for designers and clients across the globe. Here, Dering Hall talks with art director Massimiliano Raggi and light designer Marcello Colli about the influences behind two Contardi pieces that represent the company's avant-garde approach —the Uffizi AP collection and the Stardust chandelier.
DH: How would you describe Contardi’s aesthetic?
Massimiliano Raggi: Before being a lighting company, Contardi was a source of ideas, experimentation, and content research. Its aesthetics start from the observation of styles, needs, and new housing models. It is a contemporary aesthetic, where each product tells a story, evokes an atmosphere, and creates a new way of enjoying the light both in residential and hospitality projects.
DH: In your brand bio on DH, you write that for you, ‘“Made in Italy” is not merely a label of origin, it is our philosophy.’ Could you explain what you mean by that?
Raggi: "Made in Italy" for Contardi is like a landmark and a way of doing work. It is not about where it is made and where the components come from, but it’s about dynamics and attitude, which tell us that the quality is a priority and details are the essence.
DH: Which lighting designers have most inspired you?
Raggi: We can’t say that we have been inspired by one lighting designer more than others. Actually, we are more focused on the work of interior designers who have always incentived us to search for solutions to combine the aesthetic and functionality of the light.
DH: The Uffizi APis such a unique lighting fixture. How did you come up with the idea for it?
Raggi: The idea came from the observation of the material it is made of, the marble, and from the possibility to cut it, make it thin, and then glue it. After some tests, it seemed natural to create a simple shape that would enhance the beauty of the material but with an ironic idea, an idea that would evoke something familiar. Once the pieces were glued, the idea of a bright frame that could furnish the walls was born. It is a frame which can be used on its own as a small piece of art and craftsmanship, combined with a lighting technology that emphasizes the beauty of the material and a good light output.
DH: How do you recommend styling the Uffizi AP?
Raggi: Like in an art gallery or in a private home when the walls are "dressed up", I like the idea of combining some Uffizi lamps of different shapes next to one another in an almost random way to create a picture gallery together with real paintings and photographs. This creates a surprise effect and certainly furnishes and illuminates a room with style.
DH: Why did you choose a minimalist style for the Stardust chandelier?
Marcello Colli: Because we love minimalism. Stardust is minimal yet comes with a luxury personality, both in the typical iconic chandelier silhouette and in the precious contemporary materials.
DH: What’s unique about the Stardust chandelier?
Colli: Stardust is a unique chandelier with its extreme sleekness and richness, and with its ability to evoke emotions with direct and reflected light, mixed together with outstanding harmony.
DH: Anything changes coming up for Contardi Lighting in 2019?
Raggi: Contardi is always looking for new ideas both in terms of style and technology. Surely there will always be a greater attention to new residential models both for residential and for contract, and this is for both indoor and outdoor. Contardi is working to meet customers' needs to illuminate all spaces in an unconventional way, and above all to create and reinforce its language, creating an increasingly recognizable identity.
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