The light that emerges from the shadow: Erwan Bouroullec's Emi lamp combines technology and design in a paradoxical experience of light and shadow

EMI lamp design Erwan Bouroullec for Flos
The light that emerges from the shadow: Erwan Bouroullec's Emi lamp combines technology and design in a paradoxical experience of light and shadow it has been modified: 2023-05-15 di Benedetto Fiori

The Emi lamp, designed by Erwan Bouroullec, combines different light sources to create a unique experience of light and shadow. Emi offers an elegant and sophisticated design, using advanced technology and sustainable materials. The collection includes different versions to adapt to different environments, offering modularity and flexibility in space design.

The new Emi lamp, designed by Erwan Bouroullec, offers a completely new lighting experience by combining different invisible light sources to create an almost paradoxical effect: light emerging from the shadows. This intriguing contrast is achieved thanks to the union of a deep and dark opaque body, which looks like a void, with powerful but invisible light sources, which provide efficient and effective lighting both on the ceiling and on the floor. Emi is a silhouette created with shadows that give off light, a real fusion between shadow and light.

With the Emi collection, Erwan Bouroullec intends to bring the quality of professional lighting to domestic environments and in the context of hospitality. This project stems from the ambition to combine the technology and quality of the lamps used in the professional field with the lighting of domestic spaces and reception areas. Thanks to a proprietary technology developed by Flos, the Emi collection features a series of compact luminaires equipped with a patented anti-reflection optical unit.

The design of this collection takes shape from the grouping of three light modules within linear and compact extrusions, joined together by a triangular section placed in the upper part. “We built Emi based on the Flos Light Shadow optical concept,” explains Erwan Bouroullec. “These light modules give the lamp its triangular shape which is reflected throughout its design. The main section, pole and stands all share this shape, creating a coherent and aesthetically balanced structure. We found it fascinating to replace the usual logic of rectangular shapes with a completely triangular approach. Indeed, triangles offer many structural qualities using a minimum amount of material and reinvent traditional geometry, playing with perspective in a unique way”.

Emi is mainly made with metals: the base of the lamp is in pressed steel, while the rod and the main body are in aluminium. Polymers are used for the upper and lower sections. Considerable efforts have been made to minimize surfaces and thicknesses throughout the collection in order to optimize the use of materials.

The light emitted by Emi is powerful but delicate at the same time, designed to be reflected. “Even in the version with the white body, the light is revealed only by the central element, leaving the body unlit,” explains the designer. “This contrast creates an interesting effect, but our main intention was to make the lighting comfortable for the eyes. The light sources never come into direct contact with the eyes, as the light emerges from walls, ceilings and any surface it hits.

The Emi collection is available in four versions: pendant, ceiling, floor and table. This variety makes it possible to adapt Emi's light to both domestic and reception spaces. “We wanted to offer as many solutions as possible,” says Erwan Bouroullec. “Emi includes ceiling, floor and table mount options, as well as free-hanging versions. The repeated use of a similar language offers multiple luminous bodies that can be arranged in space through iteration, alignment and symmetry. This makes Emi a new type of architectural lighting that can be used in a serial way, providing a uniform design that integrates perfectly with the surrounding architecture”.

The ceiling version of Emi is available in two sizes, slimmer or wider, and in different lengths. It has a linear structure made up of a vertical tube which generates a direct beam of light. What makes it special is its modularity: it can be used individually or by combining different elements, thus creating always different and scenographic combinations of light, while maintaining its elegant simplicity.

The floor version of Emi seems to float in the air, lightened by a stem that connects it to the base, maintaining the triangular identity that characterizes the ceiling version. The lighting of this model is bidirectional: in the upper part, the light is powerful enough to illuminate the entire space without dazzling, thanks to the particular shape of the light beam. In the lower part, the light is soft and diffused, perfect for combining with other light sources such as a television or an appliance.

The table version of Emi works in a similar way to the floor version, but with reduced dimensions, adapting perfectly and unobtrusively to any horizontal surface. In both versions, the light can be adjusted via the upper stem.

“Spaces often require multiple points of light, and if sometimes diversity is a good option, other times the opposite is necessary: ​​having multiple luminous bodies that follow the same language, offering geometry through repetition, alignment and symmetry . Emi has this ability to be used in a modular way, thus becoming a new type of architectural lighting,” concludes the designer.

Sustainable and future-oriented design

Emi's advanced technology marries perfectly with sustainable design. The body of the lamp is mainly made of aluminum (partially recycled and fully recyclable), ensuring a reduced environmental impact. In addition, significant efforts have been made to minimize surfaces and thicknesses, optimizing the use of materials and contributing to product sustainability.

Durability is another key element of Emi's design. The product is designed to last over time, with the aim of avoiding waste and rapid obsolescence. Each optical unit can be replaced individually to facilitate maintenance, while the absence of glues and solders simplifies the disassembly and proper disposal of individual parts at the end of the product's useful life.

Emi represents an example of "future-proof" design, capable of adapting to the needs and trends of the future. Its advanced technology and timeless aesthetics make it a versatile and elegant choice for different contexts and environments. Thanks to its modularity and the possibility of combining different luminous bodies, Emi offers great flexibility in the design of spaces, allowing you to play with light and architecture in a creative way.

In conclusion, Erwan Bouroullec's Emi lamp represents an innovative lighting solution that combines technology and sophisticated design. Thanks to its ability to harmoniously combine light and shadow, Emi offers a unique visual experience. Furthermore, its sustainability and future-oriented design make it a conscious choice for those looking for high-quality lighting that fits perfectly into domestic and reception environments. Emi is an example of how design can combine aesthetics, functionality and environmental responsibility, creating objects that make our lives more beautiful and sustainable.

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