Crafting Light: Loewe's Luminous Expedition into Artisanal Design at Milan Design Week

Written by: Nauradika Of London



Time to read 1 min

In a single, dimly lit room within the historic confines of Palazzo Citterio in Milan's Brera district, Loewe orchestrated a symphony of light and texture. The occasion? The unveiling of Loewe Lamps during Milan Design Week, a collection masterminded by 24 international artists. This exhibition wasn't just a display of lighting; it was an exploration of the boundless potential of materials—from the organic to the inorganic.

A Canvas of Modern Lighting

Loewe, originally a 19th-century leather-making collective, has evolved dramatically under the visionary leadership of Jonathan Anderson. Anderson's Loewe deftly interweaves fashion and craftsmanship, and Loewe Lamps is a testament to this intricate dance. Each artist at the event stretched the limits of materials like birch twigs, horse hair, leather, and Japanese washi paper, creating a mesmerizing interaction with light.

Illuminating Craftsmanship

The luminous creations ranged from Jennifer Lee's geometric washi paper lamp, derived from salvaged Shoji screens, to Andile Dyalvane's bulbous glass and clay pendant light, which summoned visions of acacia trees with its yellow and amber hues. Lee's piece, with its subtle pencil marks and aged paper, whispers stories of its past life, inviting observers to lean in closer.

Meanwhile, Dyalvane's approach highlights the contrasting temperaments of clay and glass, molded through diverse temperature treatments to reveal their unique qualities in their final, glowing forms.

Artistry in Light

Anthea Hamilton's kimono-shaped, stained-glass lamp reimagines light as wearable art, merging traditional Japanese influences with contemporary design. On a different note, Enrico David’s resin and Turkish onyx lamp, initially conceived as a glowing fingernail, evolved into a curvaceous profile, echoing the fluidity of human contours.

Unique Material Encounters

From the rustic, bird's nest-style pendant crafted by Irish basketmaker Joe Hogan using birch twigs to the majestic horse hair-clad floor lamp by South Korean artist Dahye Jeong, each piece in the exhibition redefined traditional perceptions of lamp design. These artists not only showcased their mastery over their chosen materials but also their ability to think beyond conventional boundaries.

The Ongoing Journey of Loewe Craft

Loewe's commitment to elevating artisanal craftsmanship is palpable. Their annual craft prize, now in its seventh year, continues to spotlight global artisans who push the envelope of creativity. The impact of such initiatives is evident in the diverse and innovative works showcased during the design week, which not only illuminate spaces but also inspire minds.

As Loewe Lamps beautifully demonstrated, the fusion of traditional crafts with innovative design can transform everyday objects into extraordinary experiences. This exhibition invites us all to consider how the spaces we inhabit are illuminated not just by light, but by the stories and hands behind each creation.