ILIDE, a loose acronym for "Italian lighting design," was founded to revive traditional Italian craftsmanship through modern design. Their debut at the Temporary Museum for New Design at Zona Tortona's Superstudio Più included two distinct series: "Unicità," a capsule of four lamps inspired by major Italian cities, and just over a dozen 'experimental' pieces "obtained by pushing technology, materials and artisans' skills to the limit." The inaugural collections are remarkably diverse, the result of a design contest in which 20 designers were paired with as many craftsmen to create the 17 final pieces.
The colors of the "Matera" lamp by Davide-Giulio Aquini come from the different kinds of clay, not a surface treatment. Image courtesy of Ilide
The "Venezia" by Davide-Giulio Aguini and Daniele Gualeni is a modern update to the traditional Venetian chandeliers. Image courtesy of Ilide
In addition to invoking the romantic spirit of "traditional handcrafted products"—indeed, it often seemed like the majority of new work was described as such—Ilide's offerings are also locally manufactured. Yet the new company has a legitimate claim to a truly artisanal heritage: the new generation of stateside DIYers has nada on the maestros who collaborated with established designers to create beautifully-crafted, often sculptural lamps and lighting fixtures.
Naheul Vega's "Light to Me" lamp uses natural coarse salt as a diffraction surface for embedded LEDs
The unconventional concept is made intuitive in the hourglass form.
Ironically enough, the gallery space was a particularly difficult environment to photograph, as myriad light sources made it was nearly impossible to capture the nuances of each piece. Ilide provided some images from the show (below), I recommend checking out Ilide's website for more images and information.