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Europe's Modern Approach to Lamp Design Illuminating : DECOR

July 30, 1994|JURA KONCIUS | TIMES-POST NEWS SERVICE

MILAN, Italy — The latest in lighting from this corner of Europe sends Americans a message: You are still in the dark when it comes to lighting design.

Lighting is taken very seriously in Italy, where manufacturers are constantly working to satisfy the creative and functional needs of consumers. Some offer the latest in technology and materials; others elevate lamps to works of art.

"I am fascinated by pictures of explosions, especially seen in slow motion," says German-born Ingo Maurer, known for his sculptural lighting designs. "And I wanted to challenge today's chandelier mania--conservative and humorless."

Maurer's riveting new chandelier "Porca Miseria" resembles a colossal clump of fine porcelain dinnerware exploding in midair. (The chandelier is available only by custom order from Maurer in Munich for about $28,000.)

Here are some other intriguing lighting designs introduced recently at Milan's Euroluce international trade show:

* "Gilda," by Artemide, is a table or bedside lamp with a moving sphere on top that adjusts for different levels and tints. It comes in 12 color combinations. ("Gilda" is available in American stores for about $109.)

* "Luminator," by A & P.G. Castiglioni for Flos, is a reissue of a 1954 floor lamp made of stove enamel steel and painted metal tripod legs. It provides indirect light.

* "Jooge," designed by Berto Pandolfo for Arteluce, is a series of weatherproof outdoor lights that give diffused or shaded light.

* "Rosy Angelis," by French designer Philippe Starck for Flos, is a floor lamp with a carbon-fiber tripod base and a lampshade of a lightweight fabric. It will be available in U.S. stores in 1995.

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