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Solo lights lodes

Where craftsmanship meets innovation: a new name and a new look for the renowned lighting company.

Venetian lighting design company Lodes – formally known as Studio Italia Design – has been at the forefront of beautiful lighting schemes the world over since 1950, but in line with its 70th anniversary last year, the intergenerational company embraced a new look.

“The rebrand welcomed a new era of contemporary design while celebrating the company’s history and the entrepreneurial spirit of my grandfather and founder of Lodes, Angelo Tosetto,” explains Massimiliano Tosetto – Angelo’s grandson and general manager of Lodes. Now, with his strategic vision taking full shape, Massimiliano sat down with us to discuss what the rebrand means for the evolution of Lodes and how their innovative, contemporary designs honour the brand’s Italian heritage.

Lodes celebrated its 70th anniversary and at the same time, underwent a rebrand. How would you describe the Lodes brand of today?

There are four key principles for Lodes: the first is mastery; the consolidated know-how, craftsmanship and attention to detail. The second is research; we are on a journey of learning and continuous evolution, with a keen curiosity. Another is the ability to create bonds with products and other users. The last value is Italianness – the family’s passion for lighting and its 70-year legacy.

Can you tell us about the new Diesel Living with Lodes collection? It includes three new lighting styles: Urban Concrete, Vinyl and Flask. What was the inspiration behind these?

This new collection draws inspiration from the idea of opposites. Urban Concrete, for example, mirrors the silhouette and texture of concrete bollards found in an inner-city landscape and is suspended from an iron ring. The rounded shape makes it seem heavy and its surface reflects the subtle indents found in concrete, and yet the metal dome is actually very light and elegant.

Similarly, Flask – a suspended cluster of blown glass mantles that mimic laboratory beakers – explores contrast through finishes with its glossy interior and matt exterior. The metallic surface is almost opaque until it’s lit up. Vinyl is an extremely graphic lamp, made of a metal plate with a circular engraved texture reminiscent of a music record. When lit, it divides the light in a captivating manner to the human eye.

Your lighting is incredibly sculptural. What drives the brand to consistently invent new designs?

Since we started in 1950, we have understood the importance of aligning innovation with the knowledge of ancient glass-making and metalwork techniques. Lodes has an in-house design team who can translate concepts into reality by combining engineering, design and the experience of lighting to make new designs are produced efficiently without sacrificing looks or quality.

Andrea Tosetto, the company’s president and the designer of many successful products, works closely with prestigious partners including Luca Nichetto, Chia-Ying Lee, Dima Loginoff and Patrick Norguet. These collaborations have allowed the company to create a collection of lamps that are not only excellent lighting sources, but also pieces of art that embellish living and working spaces.

How does Lodes balance the use of cutting-edge technology methods and a contemporary aesthetic while retaining that inherent Made in Italy essence?

For us, Made in Italy means “bello e ben fatto” – which translates as ‘beautiful and well made’. It is a way of doing things that is rooted in our culture and tradition, inspired by the beauty that surrounds us. It is the attention to the project as a whole: how it looks, how it works, and the positive emotions it will stir in the user.

How important is good lighting to the home and to wellbeing?

The last couple of years has made us increasingly aware of how our spaces affect our moods, our ability to work and our physical comfort. The pieces we choose to live with can enhance our feeling of contentment in difficult times. During lockdown, our daily exposure to natural light has been reduced, with long hours working from home in front of computer screens.

Choosing the right light can lead to improved productivity, better moods and overall happier work-from-home spaces. Adequate lighting has numerous benefits, including better support of our natural circadian rhythms (which improves health and wellness) and enhanced interior design and functionality options.

Since we started in 1950, we have understood the importance of aligning innovation with the knowledge of ancient glass-making and metalwork techniques.

- Angelo Tosetto

Random Solo 05
Any tips on creating an ambient lighting scheme?

Choose a lamp that best suits the space. Lodes canopies give individual light fixtures an original look and allow combinations of multiple light fixtures that are truly unique. You can also create atmosphere by selecting the most suitable light colour temperature – an element which can change the perception of any space. While a colder light improves attention and is perfect over a kitchen counter. You can also change the intensity of the light through dimming, which allows you to adjust the light to the mood of the moment.

Open-plan living spaces are commonplace in residential architecture – what’s your advice for creating the perfectly lit open-plan space?

My advice would be to combine ambient and punctual lights to cater to different needs: ambient light sets the mood, while punctual light serves reading and working purposes. The ambient light can be generated through wall sconces, ceiling fixtures and spotlights, while suspension, reading and table lamps can respond to direct light needs.

If light points are available along the walls, I would choose a lamp like Aile, which directs the light beam upwards to the wall and then diffuses it downwards, creating a balanced atmosphere. Alternatively, the Nautilus lamp (which was designed by my father Andrea) has a dynamic lighting effect: its double light source can project light symmetrically towards opposite directions or at will by playing with the two sources separately.

Finally, the Cima suspended light can be used to set atmosphere as well as punctual light, by simply adjusting the height and angle of the light beam. It can also be used as an architectural element to divide ambients in the same open-space plan.

Have you got a favourite product?

My absolute favourite product is Random, by the Taiwanese designer Chia-Ying Lee. I saw Chia-Ying present the concept (the idea of a cloud of bubbles floating in the air) at Salone Satellite 2015 and I fell for its simplicity and decorative power. We worked with the designer to create a little cluster with three lights each, with individual cables housed in a thin metal cylinder which contains the driver.

The lamp is a best seller and Chia-Ying revisited the concept last autumn by parting the original three-piece cluster and adding two new blown glass spheres, which we called Random Solo. The five elements of different diameters now float like bubbles of light in their solitary beauty and suggest new compositions of luminous harmonies.

What Lodes light have you got in your own home?

We’re moving from a single apartment to a family home and the star lamps here will be Random and Random Solo, both designed by Chia-Ying Lee. They work well over a dining table and in the living room. For the kitchen, I like simple and punctual fixtures such as Nautilus or A-Tube. My wife has already picked Easy Peasy as her bedside lamp – she can’t make up her mind on the colour option though, so I guess we will have all four of them.

What does the future hold for Lodes?

The rebrand to Lodes has accelerated the progress towards creating lighting solutions that blend contemporary design with the historic know-how of the company, especially related to metal and glasswork, and our upcoming launches will reflect our refreshed approach to manufacturing innovation and contemporary design.