Be / Colour! is a limited-edition capsule collection by designer and art director Ferruccio Laviani that uses colour to reimagine some of Foscarini's most popular lamps and in the process uncovers a new side of their personality.

Designer Ferruccio Laviani in his Milan studio. Photography © Max Rommel.

Designer Ferruccio Laviani in his Milan studio. Photography © Max Rommel.

Foscarini and Ferruccio Laviani have worked together since 1991. First with the Orbital lamp and then as its art director and designer. Their collaboration runs deep and the body of work is artful and functional, underpinning the research and material development of the lighting brand.

In this new capsule collection for Foscarini, Ferruccio explores a chromatic dialogue transforming key pieces within the Foscarini collection to create a series of new interior stories by framing colour within the historical context of form.

Colour as a constituent part of design, then, not a mere decoration or afterthought.
Foscarini lamps live by night and by day, on or off: they have a physical presence, not just a function. Colour makes volumes come alive, allowing us to perceive fullness and emptiness: it expresses the personality of the object.

Colour and its capacity to modify perception of reality: to make it different, unexpected, new. Luminous objects ought to transmit emotion, and they do so not only with light, but also through form and colour, triggering a sophisticated balance between our chromatic sensibility and the taste that represents us best. Colour has only recently been redeemed from the Rationalist heritage (and where design is concerned, from the precepts of the Weimar school) which always considered it something auxiliary, not fundamental, relegated at best to the sphere of the interpretation of primary colours.

It was only with the advent of Post-Modernism, and above all with Memphis and Alchimia, that palettes of unusual hues were introduced, with unconventional combinations and decorative patterns. The theme of colour and its presence in contemporary industrial design thus becomes an important factor in design, and one of the main features of any new creation.

Just as we perceive the rooms of a home in a different way when the walls have been repainted, our perspective on an object changes when we see it in an unexpected colour or finish, making it seem novel and surprising.
— Ferruccio Laviani

Emotion and perception thus become a whole. Colour and its virtues, from physiological to biological, cultural to symbolic, take concrete form in projects through a material and a colour that convey an idea of something solid, tangible. Just as we perceive the rooms of a home in a different way when the walls have been repainted, our perspective on an object changes when we see it in an unexpected colour or finish, making it seem novel and surprising. We wanted to get beyond the “all-over” effect of a single colour, and where possible we have formulated chromatic combinations, trying to make every single lamp even more unexpected than before. After all, reality too is double, because each thing exists by virtue of its opposite; and since colour is the highest form of historical/local/ cultural reality to which humankind can make reference, the combination with individual sensibility is what makes an object visible.

Ferruccio Laviani

Be / Colour! limited edition capsule collection includes five key pieces from the Foscarini collection – Twiggy, Magneto, Binic, Bahia and Gregg.

Twiggy by Ferruccio Laviani

Twiggy is a true Foscarini icon: because, like Foscarini, it states its presence through colour. This work by Laviani is not just a simple variation of Twiggy, but its actual redesign. The lamp, seen in terms of its constituent parts, takes on an utterly new personality. The curve of the stem emerges like a gesture, the base takes on different weights depending on the contrast, the shade establishes a dialogue with what supports it and the light source it contains. The forms – read in a sequence – become a rhythm.


Magneto by Foscarini studio

The new two-tone Magneto is a design that works on meaning and hierarchies: the white stem supports a black diffuser; a white diffuser is supported by a black stem. Warm, saturated hues are combined with pastel tones and the personality of the lamp changes completely. A magnet connects the support stem and the light source, permitting its orientation to function like a torch. Rethinking the colours adds new appeal to the product, and a new aspect to its technical character. Its slimness takes on solidity, whether it is on or off.


Binic by Ionna Vautrin

A cute, compact, fun-loving lamp with all the traits that says Foscarini "foster love at first sight” expressed in white, green, amaranth, orange, petroleum, grey… Beyond the single colour. Laviani has reinterpreted the volumes of the lamp, separating Binic’s conical base and the spotlight. Where previously there was only a contrast of finish – shiny above, satiny below – now there is a carefully and successfully curated colour match between hues.

Bahia + Bahia mini by Lucidi e Pevere

A lamp that expresses itself in the relationship between forms. Three stacked plates, slightly off-centre in profile and arrangement, with light running on the surface like water on sand bathed by the sea. The name Bahia suggests this: a beach, a shoreline with waves of sand… white on white. But now Bahia is enhanced by colour, adding character to the whole surface of the innermost plate and the border of the outer plates. The effect adds depth to the collection.


Gregg midi e piccola by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba

At first glance Gregg has a free, organic form. It is an exercise in asymmetry, changing depending on the angle of observation. Laviani could have accentuated that particular character of the natural object, trying to make the base disappear, but instead, he did the opposite. In keeping with the essence of Gregg, he has delved into the relationships between the parts, and rather than hiding the base he has underlined it with the finish and the colour – gold and graphite, glossy and reflecting light.

Foscarini is exclusively available in South East Asia from Space – Australia.