Eindhoven design duo Studio Formafantasma has opened Anno Tropico, a new exhibition showcasing experimental lighting in Milan. Known for investigating unusual materials, the studio has turned its attention to exploring the expressive qualities of light, treating it as a physical material.
Pieces combine light-modifying elements such as dichroic glass, optical lenses and parabolic mirrors, with industrial materials such as brick and iron. Light is projected, bent and refracted in different directions, generating reflections and shadows in the space. The objects are based mostly on circular structures reminiscent of astronomical instruments, while their sculptural quality and use of brass is a nod to the 20th-century sculptor Constantin Brâncuși.
Marking a departure away from the studio’s typical craft-based practice towards a more industrial sphere, the exhibition investigates the relationship between natural and artificial illumination.
Anno Tropico runs until March 19 at the Peep-Hole Contemporary Art Centre in Milan.
For a detailed report on creatives’ increasing appreciation for materials that distort light to create visually arresting surfaces and products, see Manipulating Light. Our Prismatic Colour Spectrum for A/W 17/18 looks in more forensic detail at how this trend is affecting material finishes and our understanding of colour.