Last night at Kartell’s NYCxDesign party, hot young designers Rafael de Cardenas and Snarkitecture were on hand to show off their remixes of the Bourgie lamp, which also received makeovers by Philippe Starck, Pharrell and Front.
Though it’s been around for only a decade, Ferruccio Laviani’s Bourgie lamp is already an icon. It debuted at a time when the neo-baroque aesthetic was in vogue, and everything modern had an ornate twist. Yet Bourgie endures for its classic, table lamp form – complete with modern transparent polycarbonate shade – which strikes a similar emotional cord as the peaked roof in architecture. So, as Kartell also celebrates a milestone – 65 years in business – it is showing off new interpretations of the Bourgie lamp by 19 designers, including Philippe Starck, Nendo, Snarkitecture and the Palombas.
Some of these design “remixes” are simple embellishments, such as Starck’s opulent necklaces wrapped around the lamp stand, and Christophe Pillet’s coal black treatment. And some – like the Palombas’ wireframe and Front’s curved stand that appears to be skulking around like a ghost – play up its outline and character.
Others are complete metamorphoses; Rafael de Cardenas split the lamp in two, and changed its entire feel. He explains, “As Laviani’s design reduced the traditional Baroque form to a ghosted silhouette of transparent polycarbonate, we set out to further reinvent the Bourgie, reducing its form to partial reflection. Vertically splitting the lamp’s silhouette evenly in two, we fastened one half of the form to a full-length mirror, thereby engaging the viewer and creating a new lamp that only becomes ‘whole’ in reflection.” It goes to show that even a riff on an existing design can yield imaginative results.