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

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

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

Let there be light!

They even come in cute packaging.

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

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

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A Lamp Inspired By Ancient Japanese Dolls

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

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.

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