IKEA and Sabine Marcelis bring warmth to light with VARMBLIXT
Together with designer Sabine Marcelis, IKEA is setting out to bring more warmth to the home through VARMBLIXT. At the heart of the collaboration? Four fascinating lamp designs that launch a movement in the lighting range at IKEA. We spoke to product developer Chiara Ripalti about the beauty she sees in light and the development of VARMBLIXT with Sabine Marcelis, who in turn shares how warmth and wonder are woven in throughout the collection.
Beauty has long been a source of fascination to Chiara Ripalti. Once a student of art and design in Italy, now a Product Design Developer for lighting at IKEA in Sweden, she’s spent much time reflecting on what and where beauty is – and the impact it can have on everyday life.
“Beauty is such a personal emotional experience. You find something that is a unique combination of colours, a balance of shapes, a harmony, and you just feel it inside yourself. It’s so important”, says Chiara.
A few things that are beautiful to Chiara, off the top of her head: A simple vibrant green colour, like that of the green shirt that tops off and nicely contrasts her otherwise all-black outfit of the day. Or the shadows cast on a space from a window washed with light.
“Light is a functional thing, but to me, it’s also just beauty. And I believe that if you have something that makes you feel like this in your home, you will live better”, she says, noting that not least in lighting, much that is focused on making the most of its form is often only afforded by few. “To democratise beauty is something we should really think more about.”
It’s a perspective that Chiara brought to her work on VARMBLIXT, a range of lamps, serveware, rugs, and more designed by Sabine Marcelis for IKEA. To Chiara, the development of the collection involved putting ideas on the importance of form that she already deeply believed in at work, while also broadening her perspective on light at home.
Lamps designed by Sabine Marcelis to keep light and shadow at play
Simple to the eye, the designs of the two textured, matte, and largely opaque metal lamps in VARMBLIXT are rooted in an idea from Sabine to shape a line of light with a simple gesture. The circular lamp constitutes a complete line, top half curved slightly for light to wash onto the wall from there. To play with its design, its colour also has a particular purpose.
“The typical wall at home is often white, and I wanted the lamp to blend in, so that you notice the play of shadow and light a lot more”, Sabine explains.
The statement lamps made of glass – a favoured material in the collection – on the other hand, were a bit more challenging in aspects like production and flat packing with the scales at hand.
Sparking light and warmth across the home