Throwback Thursday: Foscarini on LED Retrofitting the Ghosts of Lighting’s Past

The form of the 2005 Foscarini Big Bang Chandelier teases clues that it was made by an architect; upon closer inspection, its seemingly scattered composition looks more like construction, like a luminous, suspended house of cards (made from your choice of white or red methacrylate).

Foscarini relaunched the dramatic lighting fixture (designed in 2005 by Enrico Franzolini, who is in fact an architect, in collaboration with Vicente Garcia Jiminez) earlier this year during Milan’s Euroluce expo with a high-tech update: an LED bulb in lieu of its original halogen one, highlighting the progress lighting technology has made in eight short years.

“People are crazy about LEDs, and we need to adapt to that,” designer Carlo Urbinati, who runs Foscarini alongside fellow designer Alessandro Vecchiato, told Disegno Daily. Alongside the Big Bang, they’ve updated three other bestselling lights: Patricia Urquiola and Eliana Gerotto‘s 2006 Caboche; Marc Sadler‘s 2006 Twiggy, and his 2008 Tress.

With pioneers now designing specifically with this blooming technology in mind, Foscarini’s decision to retrofit rather than reinvent seems counterproductive. It does, however, align with Milan’s stated refusal to compromise its design integrity in the face of economic crisis. “We try to always stay true to ourselves,” Urbinati said.

— Janelle Zara

Photo via Foscarni