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Martinelli Luce: 2020 in five words

| Designbest editorial staff

Emiliana Martinelli, the daughter of lighting designer Elio Martinelli, is president of Martinelli Luce. She studied art at the Istituto d’Arte in Lucca, industrial design at ISIA di Firenze and, finally, graduated in architecture. After her studies she entered in the family business. With her father’s help she grew into her role and became passionate for the design and production of lamps. She has always held two roles: entrepreneur, and designer/art director. Her versatility is a testimony to her ability to manage the various souls of Martinelli Luce, guaranteeing it an identity that goes beyond trends.

Emiliana Martinelli tells Designbest about the five keywords for Martinelli Luce in 2020:  


“Nature has always been a reference point in Martinelli Luce’s design and it is not by chance that the company’s headquarters are immersed in the green of the Lucca countryside. Many lamps since the fifties and up until today call back to nature. The lamps are characterized by curved and sinuous lines and their names refer to animals, plants or the sky. I am speaking about Serpente (snake), Cobra, Pipistrello (bat), the Rondini (swallows) and more recent ones like Colibrì (hummingbird), Calabrone (hornet), Mamba, but also Foglia (leaf) and Nuvole Vagabonde (runaway clouds). I am also speaking about the latest models coming from the beginning of 2020, during the first moments of the lockdown, lamps that are being defined in their last details before moving onto production. This period certainly did not inspire creativity or unleash new ideas as far as I am concerned. Perhaps the sadness that I sensed around, conveyed by the media, didn’t allow me to concentrate on thinking and observe the leaves, flowers, animals, shadows and water from which I usually take inspiration. I just have some notes that will soon be materialized into prototypes. I refer to the latest outdoor lamps like FROG, which comes from the period preceding this one and was introduced in 2020. It was conceived of as an adjustable freestanding spotlight with a base and made in polyethylene, in order to make it lighter, and produced in various colors: yellow, teal green and smoke gray. A mobile spotlight, supplied with a wire and plug, inspired by a particular demand as with many other lamps, i.e. lighting up bushes and shrubs and creating a pleasant garden or terrace area. Easy to move based and able to be brought indoors and turned on in the living room if more light is needed. Its curved and soft form and light can follow you anywhere. The same goes for the Boleto outdoor lamp, which is now being produced in various sizes as I had already mentioned in its design phase.”


“Geometry has inspired many lamps as well—from historical ones up until today. The sphere, cone, cylinder, cube, and three-dimensional volumes that we find at the origins of various lamps forms like Cobra, Loto, the new LOOP, Circular Pol, and Biconica—made from two enormous circles, almost tangents, that define a double volume. Among the new ones from 2020 we find Frog, born from the rotation of a body and enhanced by its color; Koala, a wall-mounted solid lamp in cement designed by Marc Sadler. The U system by Studio Natural, a small adjustable LED parabola, which with a few attachments becomes a pendant or wall model or usable on a track.”


“We have always tried to design lamps according to the philosophy of “less is more”, meaning stripping-down, the synthesis of taking away the superfluous as was done for many lamps made both in the past and designed recently like Boleto, a ground lamp for the garden—made up of just a stem, a base and a head to light up a corner of the yard or in a cordless version to light up the table for a romantic dinner.  Toggle, a small adjustable, wall-mounted spotlight—useful as a bedside lamp so as to not disturb your partner—was designed by Neil Poulton. Riccio is made up of a wireway, a straight line in space, and with cylindrical spotlights hidden inside that light with direct light, but can come out in order to illuminate with an accent light in every direction.”


“Over the last years, Martinelli Luce’s production has gone beyond indoor lamps to the design and production of technical systems, many of which are modular. Modularity makes the architect’s design work creative and flexible. One can use single modules to create continually new combinations that fit and highlight the architectonic spaces. The focus goes from the aesthetic and functional effect of a single lamp to the global presence that the lighting element conveys in the space. I am speaking about past lamps like Shanghai, Circular Pol, Mamba and the new releases from 2020. Snake is a small extruded aluminum profile with various angles of curvature and special joints that create sinuous paths, tracing and lighting up the architectonic space with direct and diffuse light. BRUCO, the outdoor lamp designed by Studio Natural, is a modular system that allows one to superimpose various lights with multiple angles onto shrubs, lawns and big bushes. The variants of the pendant lamp Colibrì, now also wall-mounted, are made up of independently adjustable tubular and linear modules of various lengths. Through these angular joints it is possible to create free bi-dimensional and tri-dimensional solutions.”


“We have always paid close attention to technology for the design and production of lamps. In the past we have built and designed the molds and related machinery to create various lamps, as we continue to do today. The technology available today allows for the creation of an interactive lamp. Using Bluetooth one can interact with a lamp, dim it and customize the color tone of its light from warm white to cold tones. I am referring to the Pipistrello 4.0 and Biconica Pol both “Light you Like” with “Tunable White” technology. And again, the new outdoor lamp FROG, conceived as an adjustable freestanding spotlight with a base made in polyethylene and rotational technology.”



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