Contemporary Italian lighting brand, Lodes, announces its partnership with one of London’s leading Furniture and Product Design degrees at London Metropolitan University.
Led by British designer Simon Hasan, the BA Furniture and Product Design course is taught by some of the UK’s most celebrated designers, including Peter Marigold and Sarah Van Gameren of Glithero. The programme partners with global brands every year, training students to design unique products across different specialisms. The university has traced its heritage back to London’s oldest furniture making course in the UK, deeming Lodes a fitting partner given their long-established roots in Venetian craftsmanship.
Lodes has been designing and producing lighting solutions for interiors and exteriors since 1950. The brand fuses contemporary design and innovative technology, using materials of the highest quality, to prioritise the relationship with the end user.
Informed by continuous research, Lodes is a constantly evolving brand that recognises the importance of championing students and emerging creatives who can bring a fresh perspective to lighting manufacturing. The brand believes in the transformative effect of fresh perspectives to ensure the continued innovation in their sector. The partnership with London Metropolitan University is therefore a learning process for the lighting brand as much as it is for the students that are participating.
Lodes briefed the class on September 28th 2021. The session started with an overview of the brand, including an insight into their design values as well as their work with internationally renowned designers such as Marco Dessí, who made a special appearance during the briefing to comment on his collaboration with Lodes.
Together, Marco Dessí and Lodes created Cima, a suspension lamp inspired by the function of the jam cleats found on sailing boats. The product features a ceiling-to-floor rope, allowing you to adjust the height and angle of the lamp to suit any mood and space. Marco explained how they could have sourced materials externally, but opted to create their own version instead, which ended up being more aesthetic pleasing, yet also cheaper to produce. Cima therefore exemplifies how important the choice of materials is during the manufacturing process and how to select a material that will best convey the message of the product.
Lodes has briefed the students to conceive a portable task light for a domestic space or environment of their choice. The brand has asked the students to think broadly about what the product’s uses will be – could this be a lamp for a refugee camp to help someone cook, or a light for someone who is camping off grid and requires a source of power? Either way, the design should be appropriate for the environment that it will be used in, and the students must consider how it will be powered, either through battery, solar, kinetic or wind up.
Additionally, Lodes has instructed the students to consider character, playfulness and wit. These attributes can be achieved through the emotion and materiality of light, via colour temperature, personalisation, the use of shadows and reflections as well as the interaction with sunlight.
Overall, the students must challenge consumerism in their design and take the opportunity of working with a leading lighting brand to reduce waste.
Lodes will support the students from the opening brief to completion. At the end of the 9-week programme, the students must deliver a prototype of their task light along with a sketchbook, sketch models and a presentation of their journey. Overall, the programme will provide an invaluable opportunity to design a product from conception to realisation with the help and expertise of a leading brand.
Marco Martin, Product & Design Manager at Lodes, comments:
‘We are thrilled to support London Metropolitan University students on this journey. We appreciate how challenging the last two years have been for students due to the impact of the pandemic and we are delighted to offer an opportunity to help build their portfolios and inform the beginnings of their design legacies. As an everchanging brand ourselves, we aim to celebrate students and wish to uplift their experiences where possible.’
Exploring lighting design through a contemporary lens, this partnership demonstrates Lodes’ commitment to its heritage of manufacturing innovation. Following a successful rebrand last year when the family-run business celebrated its 70th anniversary, Lodes continues to prioritise accessible, functional design.