Digital technology has made lighting multidimensional, says Sergio Padula of iGuzzini

Digital technology has made lighting multidimensional, says Sergio Padula of iGuzzini

Ahead of its participation at the 2019 Euroluce event, the Italian lighting firm's technical director shares how the company is harnessing technological innovations in its experiential spaces in Milan and the Middle East

Lighting design, Euroluce2019, Salone del Mobile 2019, IGuzzini, Sergio Padula

Digital transformation is the revolution of the millennium, and at the centre of our world. Once again, iGuzzini has significantly renewed the way it designs and experiments with light.

From a hackathon involving 23 start-ups in the company’s Recanati HQ, iGuzzini has created a unique, full-immersion experience. Called “The Light Experience”, it is a place where you can enjoy a first-hand experience of iGuzzini’s new light paradigm in pitch-perfect darkness. This experience is now available in a digital version, too.

How the virtual world drives lighting design and experience

The Light Experience was developed to allow selecting products based on the lighting effects they can generate. Today, space is increasingly virtual, especially in design stages. This is why we have developed a digital version of the Light Experience.

Sergio Padula

Here, designers are guided through rooms dedicated to specific effects, or they can digitally handle one or more products to try them out and appreciate the concept. The Light Experience has become an extraordinary work tool that can be used anywhere at any time for light inspiration.

There are seven virtual rooms where you can find inspiration for designing your light system. Each room focuses on a certain type of effect: Graphic, Invisible, Vertical, Shape, Human, Colour and Guiding.

The rooms can be visited in two different ways — via a guided experience, where you are led through the rooms, or in the 3D Experience mode, which is completely interactive and customisable.

Lastly, with the Explore option, you can observe each individual product and its accessories in detail, and try out different light effects and distributions by adjusting the light direction, intensity and colour temperature.

There is no limit to inspiration. The Light Experience can now be accessed anywhere, thanks to three different modes: Desktop, App and Virtual Reality. Whether you are in your studio, on-site or at home, this cutting-edge technology offers an interactive experience of lighting. It enables the designers to make an informed decision about the best product and concept fit for their project while presenting them with infinite possibilities.

The Light Experience in Milan

The “Light Gate”, the new iGuzzini showroom in Milan, designed by Alfonso Femia Atelier(s), opened in January 2019. The new space strengthens the bond the company has with Milan as an international financial and cultural centre, particularly in terms of the culture of architecture and design. The city joins the ranks of Paris, London, and Shanghai, where the company already has spaces in which it receives architects and design. iGuzzini’s relationship with the city of Milan first began in 1969 with the creation of Centro Forme. Directed by Luigi Massoni, the aim of this space was to spread a culture of light and to promote lighting solutions, and this led to collaborations between Milanese designers and certain companies in the Marche region.

The new space at 5 Via Brera is more than just a showroom or headquarters. It is conceived as a place for the co-mingling, hybridisation and sharing of different disciplines. It will be the go-to destination, not only to connect with iGuzzini but also for discovering more about the culture of light. It is a flexible, innovative space covering 970m2 over two floors.

On the first floor, there are offices, meeting rooms, work rooms, and communal areas. The basement has iGuzzini’s Light Experience, which unfolds in two stages. While the first area is dedicated to examples of different lighting effects, which is a multisensory experience with the addition of music, sounds and a guiding voice, in the next zone, you get a more detailed sense of these effects applied to different contexts. An interesting approach is used to illustrate them.

When the curtain opens, visitors are faced with a room that appears empty, with walls bearing slashes of light. These slashes of light are guides for iGuzzini technicians who, with magical skills, rotate, slide and lift parts of these walls. On the other side, you can see the projection of objects and materials organised into different sectors, such as retail, cultural heritage, hospitality, and living and architecture.

The retail wall, for example, can show the effects of light on fabrics. In addition to vertical and accent lighting, it is also possible to see the impact of different colour temperatures. In the culture, hospitality and living sectors, there are examples of how paintings can be lighted and the effects on, say, marble or mosaics, which are also materials that are often used in interiors. The wall dedicated to architectural lighting presents the different applications for luminaires, and the different lighting effects, as well as presenting examples of materials mainly used outdoors.

All these perspectives are showcased within a compact space of 15m2.

The first official and full working iGuzzini showroom in the Gulf region was launched in Bahrain in 2017, in conjunction with iGuzzini’s longstanding distributor, Al Bait.

Milan Design Week Initiatives

The Light Gate invites visitors from April 9 to 14, 10am to 10pm every day during the Milan Design Week, to partake in an emotional experience mapped out in a number of different, but interconnected stages.

For instance, UN-REVEALED | Shaping secrets, an exhibition inspired by the “Le Secret” collection of luxury jewellery created by Van Cleef & Arpels, features a secret maze of light and shadow, reflections and niches, screens and partitions. A group of 20 young international artists from the Creative Academy — the Richemont Corporate School — worked closely together with exceptional master craftsmen to create unique, multi-faceted items concealing mysterious secrets.

This maze leads to The Light Experience, the location in Milan where visitors can enjoy a first-hand experience of iGuzzini lighting, making it more immersive.

Displayed in a spectacular show of music and sound, the luminaires’ different light effects offer a physical demonstration of their real-life applications. The space is outlined with simple blades of the light on the walls and the visitor is led forwards by an interplay of movements, shifts and rotations.

The exhibition will also present the Lighthinking Talks, organised under the aegis of the Municipality of Milan. Alessandro Mari, creative director of Holden Studios, will present a talk titled ‘Telling a secret in order to keep it: a story of light and shadow’ on April 9 at 5pm.

On April 11 at 5pm, Alberto Cavalli,  general director of the Cologni Foundation, will discuss the question of Art & Craft professions in ‘The Secret of Secrets: Craftsmanship and Skill’.

To enjoy the tour, registration is mandatory on

Admission for Lighthinking Talks is free.

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