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Cork lamps to illuminate La Biennale di Venezia

2017-07-25 News

Presented for the first time in Venice Design, held in the context of La Biennale di Venezia 2017, the Curcubita lamps enabled the designer to discover new ways to work with cork, resulting in a creative lighting game.

The designer Tiago Sá da Costa was inspired by the appearance, sustainability, flexibility, and versatility of cork to create Curcubita. Presented for the first time in Venice Design, held between May 13 and November 26, in the context of La Biennale di Venezia 2017, the Curcubita lamps enabled the designer to discover new ways to work with cork, resulting in a creative lighting game. 

The globe-shaped lamps have a natural cork visual or a dyed exterior visual - in colors of earth, red, yellow, brown, or black. The cork was supplied by Amorim Cork Composites. Given their delicate contours, the lamps almost seem to allude to molecules or celestial bodies. To mold the cork into a spherical shape, Tiago Sá da Costa cut, folded, and unfolded sheets of agglomerated cork into three-dimensional shapes. Two cork halves interlock and fold around the light core, creating the impression of a hard shell with a soft, warm core that shines from the inside. 

“Cork is a great material for design, not only because it’s extremely sustainable and ecological, but also due to its plastic properties. Its touch and hardness are extremely pleasant. For many people, who are less familiar with this raw material, cork is enigmatic yet appealing. It can be used in several manners. I particularly like its relationship with light and the way that light deflects and reflects on the cork, thereby creating a warm and welcoming ambiance.”

Tiago Sá da Costa, Designer

For this Venice Design exhibition, the lamps were topped off with casted bronze caps that covers the fittings, to accentuate the colors, add weight, and play with the contrast between materials. The warm matte organic softness of the cork juxtaposed with the cold shiny mineral hardness of the bronze.

Curcubita will be in exhibition in Venice Design, at Palazzo Michiel, Strada Nuova 4391, Venice, Italy.


About Venice Design

Venice Design 2017 is the largest design exhibition running alongside La Biennale di Venezia, from May 13 to November 26. Venice Design intends to show a glimpse of the approaches of today’s international designers and is a testimony as well as an evidence of the current design scene. It is hosted by the European Cultural Center in the historical location of Palazzo Michiel, facing the Grand Canal in the very heart of Venice. Around 50 creators from 25 different countries and of various cultural backgrounds, ages, and points in their career are invited to present their concepts and approaches towards design.

Meet the designer

  • About Tiago Sá da Costa

    Tiago Sá da Costa is a Portuguese product designer and his Studio TSC is currently based in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. 

    At Studio TSC, Tiago's work is focused on ecological design, with cork as a core research matter. Much of Tiago's work has been exploring the functional uses and physical and aesthetic boundaries of cork, in combination with other materials such as steel. His work has been exhibited in New York, Berlin, Milan, Eindhoven, Barcelona, and others. 

    Besides his original work, Tiago also collaborates with other designers on a production level, helping their ideas come to life. For the past eight years, Tiago has worked with Designer Maarten Baas and DHPH Production House, where he has been involved in projects for the Rijksmuseum, Groningermuseum, Swarovski, and Louis Vuitton. 

    Tiago started his design career in Lisbon, where he studies Product Design at the Lisbon Fine Arts University (FBAUL).



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