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Fibreglass lamps fiberglass translucent lamps in Tokyo design gallery

First Tokyo Exhibition

The Tokyo based gallery, LITCH, held a three days exhibition in which the two “Mush” lamps were the central pieces. This space located in the neighbourhood of Meguro, is initially very incospicious as the main entrance is a small door in a rather quiet street. After accessing this first door, you need to go up one floor to get to LITCH.

The Space is an industrial one. In it, the concrete floors and all-white walls and ceilings are organised around a long glass facade covered in white vertical blinds. This composition makes the space feel like a no-space, where everything is suspended and weirdly silent.

Meanwhile, the philosophy of LITCH (and its founder’s, Mitsuo Suma) and the philosophy of this project are in many ways similar. The statement on their web says: “The gallery’s curation is based on the concept of making people happy through design. We collect old and new pieces of playful furniture that break away from preconceptions…” At the same time, with Kilzi I want to create objects our customers can smile to. Playfulness and room for imperfection are at our core philosophy. As perfect impregnable objects end up giving a space a certain sense of dehumanisation.

The Mush Lamps

The design in the “Mush” Lamps goes very much in the line of both philosophies and bring playfulness and joy to the extremely serene and silent aesthetic of LITCH. The complex textures of the hand-constructed fiberglass shades and their organic shapes contrast with the colder light and tones of the space. These lamps are here, like beacons of light in a magic world of bioluminescent mushrooms guiding the way. Kilzi’s designs are at their base, human and nature inspired. So, it’s intentional that they should be easy going and not menacing in any way. These photos highlight beautifully the essential quality of these lamps.

Why exhibiting in Tokyo has a personal importance

In second year in Architecture School, in a set of conferences they gave, the work of some contemporary Japanese Architects came up. In particular, works by Toyo Ito and SANAA.

The Zollverein Complex by the latest, in particular, stroke me as a great accomplishment of technical and compositional balance. The seemingly random distribution in its windows, the friendliness of the spaces.. Yet a sense of dignity and lightness covered the entire intervention. Avidly consumed every building by SANAA, Junya Ishigami, Sou Fujimoto, Atelier Bow-Wow, Go Hasegawa, and fell in love. Their common language was lightness and purity that gave space for human imperfect living.

Afterwards, this love affair consolidated in me taking an internship at Junya Ishigami’s office for two months, and eventually working at SANNA. (Sejima and Nishizawa Associated Architects). Experiencing a long list of their works, and seeing their creative work in action had a double value:

I got to learn from my ultimate inspiration for years, and I got to break the romanticized way in which I saw their work.

After years of assimilating other sources of inspiration, I got to design objects very much influenced by these Architects, but also detached from them. Having these pieces shown in the city where to most of my earlier muses thrived, had then a special value.

In the future, more pieces will continue to show at LITCH’s Space and more Japan based collaborations will take place.