Another Hungarian designer at the gates of global recognition
Szerző: Solinfo
Category: Other
Post date: 2020.09.16

Zsuzsanna Horváth’s Illan lamp was taken under its wings by prestigious Italian lamp-maker Luceplan, and has already won the ‘Best Of’ award at Frankfurt’s Light + Building trade fair

The story of Hungarian designer Zsuzsanna Horváth – who had already completed the Illan prototype back in 2017 – is a fabulous and incredible one. Luceplan became the manufacturer of Illan by way of a fortunate coincidence, having met Zsuzsa in April 2018 during the Milan Design Week, at SaloneSatellite, an event specifically focusing on up-and-coming young designers. This is where Luceplan chief Patrizia Vicenzi and Head of R+D Fabio Russo fell in love with the plans for Illan.

“They showed extremely high interest in the lamp, had good observations and exhibited great expertise,” says Zsuzsanna of the start of cooperation. “They fortunately also contacted me by email after the exhibition, asking for a Skype meeting where I could present the lamp and the concept in greater detail. I think all designers dream of such encounters and such manufacturers. They have great professional know-how as well as the required technical background, they comprehend the substance of your piece and this is what they carry forward in product development, all the while listening to the designer’s needs. At the same time, they’re not afraid to put ideas and options on the table, allowing me – as the designer – to choose. Having worked with them on this project in no way represents any commitment or exclusivity, and I say this despite the fact that I would be overjoyed to have any of my new lamps manufactured by them. I do have a few ideas for new products, but as these are not all lamps, some of them will certainly end up going to other companies.”

The uniqueness of Illan lies in its relaxing movement

According to the designer, Illan is a truly unique lamp of characteristic shape and warm light. She feels the lamp’s best quality is its relaxing movement, which draws attention and tears you away for a moment from the frenetic pace of everyday life, telling you to stop and appreciate that moment before it slips away.

Since its unveiling, the lamp has conquered everything in its path. It has already won the ‘Best Of’ award at Frankfurt’s Light + Building Fair, and has been shortlisted for other awards this year, such as the Dezeen Awards in the UK or the Hungarian Design Award. These results will be announced in October.

It is not uncommon for Zsuzsanna to receive feedback from resellers and customers on where the lamp is shown or displayed: “One of the first emails in this regard came from a reseller in Belgium, who became enamoured with Illan in 2017, and being among the first to order they received it for their showroom in December 2019. I have been sent photos of this from several angles, but I have also received images on Instagram. On the latter, Illan is proudly displayed over the stairwell of a family home. The buyer was a visitor to an earlier exhibition, which is where we met. Feedback like this truly warms my heart, and I’m especially happy when customers with long-standing interest tell me that they have received their lamp. I can’t wait to also be getting Hungarian feedback. The lamp’s primary domestic distributor is Solinfo, with Illan already available to view at the Wesselényi utca showroom.”

Zsuzsanna’s upcoming plans will make their debut at the Milan Design Week in 2021

The designer’s current work is driven by own ideas and inspirations, which is – in some regard – perhaps the road easier travelled, but she also participates in calls for applications, announced by specific manufacturers looking for specific products: “Right now I am mainly working on metal objects, which comes as a surprise even to me as typically wood and paper are my materials of choice, but this does give me the opportunity to become familiar with new technologies. In terms of form, I’m still favouring a minimalist geometric style, preferably with a feminine/organic touch. As far as technologies are concerned, laser cutting is dominant when creating the prototypes. This also tells you that I’m again focusing on flat-pack items which, of course, is not the most expedient technique as far as the end-product is concerned, so CNC and chemical etching are also things I dabble in currently,” she says talking about current design works.

And who she’s inspired by? She first brings up the name of Michael Anastassiades, a designer held in very high regard today, but also mentions Joris Laarman who, according to the Hungarian designer, is doing fantastic things with currently available as well as specially-developed 3D printing techniques. Her artistic inspiration is drawn mainly from the works of Olafur Eliasson and Jeppe Hein. “Of course, I also pay close attention to the work of my super-talented Aalto peers”, emphasises Zsuzsanna, giving special mentions to Studio Finna and Laura Väre. “Next year will see me work on actually producing the prototypes for works already designed. Some of these are easy to realise, while others considerably harder. Hopefully COVID will not hinder plans and I will be able to roll these out at next year’s Milan Design Week. It would be great to be as lucky as in 2018 and again find a manufacturer like Luceplan.”

About the designer:

Zsuzsanna Horváth is a designer and architect with a strong background in furniture design, constructing various outdoor installations and public building design. She has worked as an architect in Finland for several years, contributing to projects such as the Logomo Concert Hall in Turku. Subsequently, she decided to pursue studies in the field of product and spatial design at Aalto University, graduating in 2018. Since then, she has been residing in Denmark, where she runs her own architecture and design studio. Her Illan lamp is produced by Italian firm Luceplan, with Solinfo as the primary Hungarian distributor.

About the lamp:

Technological innovation, research on materials and sustainability are combined harmoniously in the Illan suspension lamp. Illan’s ethereal, vibrant design is subject to the undulating movement of the air, and the constant variation changes the lamp’s shape and moulds the luminous volume.

Concept behind the lamp in the designer’s words

“The idea for the lamp comes from experimentation with laser cutting applied to different materials.

When sheets of paper and wood are cut geometrically and then suspended, they take on wholly new characteristics thanks to the force of gravity. Translucency, flexibility and delicate undulated movement are the distinctive characteristics of the Illan lamp.

The simple concentric cutting pattern shapes wood into a three-dimensional sculptural object that reacts even to the slightest movement of air, while the warm glow of the lamp induces a relaxing sensation, reflecting on the wooden surface in harmonious resonance.

Illan lies on the borderline between art and design, balancing functional quality, good looks and a bit of the magic we need in our everyday life.”

A project fully based on the principle of sustainability

The structure of the lamp is made with FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®)-certified wood, sourced from ethically and responsibly managed forests, in keeping with rigorous environmental, social and economic standards. In addition to the use of sustainable materials, the entire process of development and the life-cycle of the product are guided by an ecologically responsible approach. The number of components has been reduced to a minimum, and the production processes have low environmental impact.

The wooden structure is made from a sheet with thickness ranging from 1 to 2.5 mm – depending on the size of the lamp – cut in concentric circles. This part of the lamp is shipped flat, and it takes on its final form and volume only at the moment of installation. The various parts of the product can be easily separated for appropriate transportation. The use of high-efficiency LED light sources and dimmer systems guarantees perceptible savings in terms of electricity. The above factors guarantee small and light packaging, which in turn saves material and shipping costs.

Additional information:

The designer /

The manufacturer /

Primary Hungarian distributor /