Architect Tiziano Vudafieri presents the Wilhelm Lamp as part of the Rossana Orlandi exhibition “Guiltlessplastic – Master’s Pieces” at Milan Design Week 2019. The one-of-a-kind piece, 3D printed in recycled polycarbonate, represents a new interpretation of a vase by the German designer Wilhelm Wagenfeld, teacher at the Bauhaus and undisputed master of modernist design, of whom Vudafieri is a collector.
Ro Plastic-Master’s Pieces, curated by Rossana Orlandi, is an exhibition of one-of-a-kind pieces in recycled plastic made by world-renowned artists, designers and architects. During the Milan Design Week, the exhibition will be open to the public in the scenic backdrop of Railway Pavilion of the Museo Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan. All the pieces have been conceived, designed and made strictly in recycled and recyclable plastic.
The Wilhelm Lamp was born out of Tiziano Vudafieri’s passion for the German designer: “Wilhelm Wagenfeld was the only Bauhaus master to apply this movement’s utopia to real life, invading the market after World War II with beautiful everyday objects with innovative designs and affordable prices. In the ’20s and ’30s, he was a great innovator of industrial techniques, especially glass, being among the first to use the freshly invented blow-blow technique and the first ever to use borosilicate glass for domestic use. His pieces are part of, for example, the permanent collection of Moma, but Wagenfeld remains inexplicably a master known above all in the German world. Among his works, I prefer his glass pieces, particularly the vases, with their classic and rigorous, elegant and modern forms. Hence the idea of recycling not only the materials used for the object, but also the design itself, fitting in perfectly with the Guiltless Plastic theme,” explains Tiziano Vudafieri.
The architect thus started out from a Wagenfeld glass vase of 1935 and transformed it into an imposing, man-sized pendant lamp. During the exhibition, the lamp will illuminate the original vase – part of Tiziano Vudafieri’s personal collection – to highlight the relationship between inspiration and work. In a letter to Wagenfeld himself in 1965, architect Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, wrote: “I assure you that you and your work are the model case for what the Bauhaus has been after”.
Recycled polycarbonate was chosen for the Wilhelm Lamp. The high thermal and mechanical resistance of this transparent recyclable plastic, with at the same time the right fluidity in the molten state to allow printing through 3D technology, made it ideal for the creation of an imposing object.
Recycled polycarbonate responds to the important need to guarantee a second use to consumer products that have reached the end of their life cycle: available in large quantities, polycarbonate is ground, melted and reprocessed according to a type of recycling defined as “mechanical”.
Vudafieri selected a top quality group of partners and consultants, from Baolab – an agency specializing in colors-materials-finishes trends – for selection of the most suitable materials and techniques, to Lati – manufacturer of thermoplastic compounds for technical applications – which made its know-how available and supplied the material, and Gimac. Deploying one of the largest 3D printers on the market, Gimac has developed a printing technique that starts directly from the plastic granules, skipping the phase of the transformation into wire and consequently consuming less energy.
The Wilhelm Lamp consists of 12 segments – about 160 cm high and about 45 cm wide. The 12 segments are separated from each other and held together by a metal frame. The result is a chandelier that can be “easily” assembled, disassembled and transported in a box. The lighting part is a brass lamp holder with 4 lights, with two side bulbs for diffused lighting and two spotlights for a pinpoint light downwards.
Ro Plastic-Master’s Pieces, curated by Rossana Orlandi, is an exhibition of 27 one-of-a-kind pieces in recycled plastic made by world-renowned artists, designers and architects: Massimiliano Adami – William Amor – Nacho Carbonell – Matteo Cibic – Enrico Marone Cinzano – Jacopo Foggini – Formafantasma – Barnaba Fornasetti – Maurizio Galimberti – Jaime Hayon – Piet Hein Eek – Thierry Jeannot – Studio Job – Max Lamb – Piero Lissoni – Massimiliano Locatelli -Fernando Mastrangelo – Alessandro Mendini – Lucio Micheletti – Brodie Neill – Fabio Novembre – Italo Rota – Guillermo Santomá – James Shaw – Patricia Urquiola – Dirk Vander Kooij – Tiziano Vudafieri -Marcel Wanders – Nika Zupanc.
Following Milano, a scheduled roadshow will travel to Paris, London and New York.