Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

A Lamp Inspired By Ancient Japanese Dolls

Ionna Vautrin’s new fixture for Foscarini is a modern update on a classic form.

  • <p>Ionna Vautrin’s Doll fixtures for Foscarini were inspired by Japanese kokeshi figurines crossed with an oil lamp.</p>
  • <p>The lamps have a polycarbonate and ABS columnar bases topped with a rounded, blown glass shade.</p>
  • <p>Color options include deep takes on gray and red, plus ivory and green.</p>
  • <p>Let there be light!</p>
  • <p>They even come in cute packaging.</p>
  • <p>That and the minimal component parts make for quite a nice gift, actually.</p>
  • <p>A somewhat strange union, but hey--it works! Doll is absolutely, positively, incredibly cute.</p>
  • 01 /07

    Ionna Vautrin’s Doll fixtures for Foscarini were inspired by Japanese kokeshi figurines crossed with an oil lamp.

  • 02 /07

    The lamps have a polycarbonate and ABS columnar bases topped with a rounded, blown glass shade.

  • 03 /07

    Color options include deep takes on gray and red, plus ivory and green.

  • 04 /07

    Let there be light!

  • 05 /07

    They even come in cute packaging.

  • 06 /07

    That and the minimal component parts make for quite a nice gift, actually.

  • 07 /07

    A somewhat strange union, but hey--it works! Doll is absolutely, positively, incredibly cute.

Anthropomorphism in design can be tricky to pull off—or, rather, pull off well. Too many people-like attributes and the object edges toward cutesy or gimmicky—too few and, well, then it’s just a thing (a beautiful thing, undoubtedly, but a thing nonetheless). For Doll, a new lighting collection for Italian illumination specialists Foscarini, French designer Ionna Vautrin began with a muse once-removed from an actual human form, taking cues instead from Japanese figurines called kokeshi.

The artisan folk forms are traditionally hand-carved from wood into an incredibly simple shape combo of a tall trunk and slightly oversized sphere of a head, both of which are delicately painted to fill in the personal characteristics and individual style of each piece. Vautrin updated the materials and re-imagined the shape crossed with an oil lamp; the fixtures’ polycarbonate and ABS columnar bases are topped with a rounded, blown-glass shade. A quartet of rich hues—ivory, green, red, and gray—further obscures the connection, but these Dolls manage to maintain an engaging, approachable aesthetic in spite of the slick update, making a successful appeal to the heart as much as the eye.

loading