A few years ago, when LEDs first became a viable lighting element, designers rushed to cram the revolutionary technology into traditional lamps with a science-fiction gloss. Since then, designers have grown to appreciate the LED, not for what it’s not (an incandescent bulb) but for what it is: a tiny light source that opens up the possibility of new and entirely unique forms. In a dramatic leap forward, Francisco Gomez Paz has, in effect, liberated LEDs from the lamp by inserting them into a single printed electronic circuit board.
At first blush, the Milan-based designer’s creation is deceptively simple: a thin, flat piece of folded metal. But once pulled apart by its edges, the Nothing lamp accordians into a three-dimensional object that is part lighting device, part interactive sculpture.
Perfecting the design entailed three years of research, hundreds of prototypes, and the use of mathematical algorithms to figure out how to cut a piece of aluminum into perfectly proportioned slices. As Paz tells Abitare: “It might seem stupid, just a piece of aluminium with cuts in it. But the choice of the size of those cuts was a very complicated operation. . . . I wanted to plan things starting from the base elements, the circuit boards. Once it became clear that I could use cuts to form a three-dimensional shape, my task was that of designing not a form but a typology of cuts.” In doing so, Paz has reduced the LED lamp down to its DNA, a minimal structure containing hints of the future.Nothing is available through Luceplan.