Germany, 18th April 2011
In the aftermath of Milan, I am travelling through Germany these few days to enrich myself further on the latest lighting technologies by visiting some of the leading German lighting manufacturers who have lighting systems that set them apart from the pack. Today I visited Occhio who has set themselves apart by developing a very clear systematic lighting concept. As a lighting designer who originally graduated as an industrial designer, their systematic approach to design makes total sense. Building up your lighting systems from modular components is what Occhio stands for and lighting effects are at the origin of the product family range first.
To me lighting design is about conceptualising the lighting effects and the mood first, then see with which products you can achieve it. Unfortunately too many “lighting designers” start with the product first and then see what lighting effects they can create with it. In salesmen terms I am talking about application selling rather than product selling.
Once you select the lighting effects and moods with Occhio the products come automatically and that is what attracts me. The components are simple, you select the bracket or holder and you attached the optical head to it. A multitude of lenses and filters allow you to modify the lighting effects to suit and be creative. But what is more, the same components are used to build the complete family from floor based to ceiling based fixtures. Only 3 basic types of lamps are used, halogen, metal halide and LED, keeping it clean and simple.
The concept is unique and therefore a great tool to create a signature lighting design. The downside however is that it also has the risk of becoming repetitive and easily recognisable. Application of the system therefore needs to be done with thought and reason to avoid the design becoming common sight. Occhio however keeps on innovating forward while remaining loyal to its concept by gradually expanding the options to provide more components and more variety. Certainly worthy of the consideration of us lighting designers!
In Light Watch today the Occhio showroom, where the concept is there to see with your own “eyes” (Occhio means eye in Italian). Product installations allow you to play and get a feel of the different effects that can be achieved…well done!
Light Watch 75: Part of the Occhio showroom in Munich