In 1970, Japanese designer Issey Miyake opened Miyake Design Studio, designing couture and prêt-á-porter for women. By the early 1980s, he was enacting extensive experiments on fabrics, using heat and pressure to alter the structure of the threads. These interventions into the behaviors of traditional fabrics like silk, wool, and cotton jersey eventually led to Miyake’s famous body of work known as Pleats Please. These garments were cut, sewn, folded, and placed between protective paper sheeting before being subjected to a heat treatment that transformed the folds into permanent pleats. As in his Pleats Please designs, Miyake focused on folds for his collaboration with renowned Italian lighting design house Artemide. Known as IN-EI, Miyake’s series of floor, ceiling, and pendant lamps are complex volumes made out of a material derived from recycled PET plastic bottles. The folds are engineered in such a way that no internal frame is required for their structure, and the lamps can be folded down for storage and then expanded again for use. Named after the Japanese word for “shadow” or “nuance”, the IN-EI series of lamps cast a beautiful glow from their eloquently sculptural forms. IN-EI lamps are only available in Los Angeles at ALTAI.
English industrial designer Benjamin Hubert opened his acclaimed studio in 2009. At locations around the world, Hubert oversees a team of designers working in furniture, lighting, consumer goods, architectural installations and art direction. Having already received many of the industry’s top awards, Hubert is now known internationally as a leader in the field. Hubert’s process is rooted in research and driven by materials, resulting in innovative, high-functioning, concise objects that are thoroughly contemporary. Often requiring years at the drawing board and in testing, Hubert’s work is reductive but not stark: materials like cork, terracotta, marble, leather, and wood keep his forms grounded in the natural world. Hubert’s series of lamps entitled Heavy, for instance, combine slip-cast concrete shades with wood stands and red fabric-covered cord in a simple, striking composition that balances a high level of craft with an organic feel. With the Quarry series, Hubert has remade the simple pendant lamp over in thinly turned marble that, when switched on, exudes an otherworldly glow. Feats of engineering, Hubert’s chairs prove that a deep engagement with materials and process yields elegance: the unique shapes of his chairs are derived from ergonomics research but are anything but institutional in style. Available in Los Angeles exclusively at ALTAI.
Founded in Italy in 1959, Artemide is recognized around the world for innovative design. The mark is perhaps best known for the Tolomeo lamp. Characterized by an exposed constant tension structure and a brushed aluminum surface, the Tolomeo was designed in 1986 by Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina and is now a classic of contemporary design. The Tolomeo is found in well-appointed offices around the world, but Artemide’s goal is not merely to provide task lighting. Artemide looks at the design of lighting artistically and philosophically, creating lighting solutions that reach far beyond function. As in the greatest paintings, with Artemide, light tells a story. Look forward to future collaborations between ALTAI and Artemide.