Co.Design

Issey Miyake Turns Plastic Bottles Into Glowing Origami

The famous fashion designer takes on lighting fixtures for Artemide.

Issey Miyake has been experimenting with creases for decades. The fashion designer’s Pleats Please collection, launched in 1993, introduced an industrial heat-press process to polyester garments, giving the fabric a textured look to last through endless wears (further proof: the resilient line is still being produced to this day), and pieces in 132.5, his origami-inspired clothes line, "pop-up" from flat to ready-to-wear. IN-EI, Miyake’s latest innovation, is a departure from apparel, but the LED lighting series is defined by strategic folds that give structure to the floor, table, and hanging fixtures.

In collaboration with Italian lighting brand Artemide, Miyake’s Reality Lab researched and developed a translucent fiber made from recycled PET plastic bottles (which likely held water or soda in their previous incarnations). The seven 3-D geometric shapes in the series were created using mathematic programs, but the effect is less technical than ethereal—no surprise considering IN-EI is Japanese for "shadow, shadiness, nuance." Convenience isn’t on that list, but it could have been—each piece can be collapsed, but will retain its shape without the need for an interior frame when expanded again.

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