Triennale Milano opens an exhibition that explores some of the compositional and methodological characteristics of Alberto Meda, the Italian engineer and designer whose career spans over 40 years. The protagonist of the site-specific installation “Luce Scalare” on the grand staircase is the project Chiaroscura, specially adapted for the setting at different heights.
For the exhibition “Alberto Meda: Tension and Lightness”, held at Triennale Milano as a tribute to the great Italian master, on view from October 6, 2023 to January 7, 2024, Foscarini has produced – based on a project by Meda himself – a site-specific installation for the grand staircase of the Triennale, featuring 34 CHIAROSCURA lamps – 17 on each side of the steps – all made to measure, from the largest with a height of over five metres (552 cm), to the smallest with a height of just 57 centimetres.
A luminous set with differentiated dimming to create a choreography, as Meda explains:
“When the curator Marco Sammicheli asked me to think about an on-site installation for the Scalone d’Onore of Triennale Milano, as part of my solo exhibition, I made a quick visit to the location and discovered that the lateral walls of the staircase are not continuous, but are made with marble columns having a triangular section, separated at a distance of 10 cm. The spaces between one column and the next have different heights, from a level of about 5 metres at the start of the staircase, and of about 50 cm at the last step, before reaching the mezzanine. I liked the idea of an intervention that would respect the architecture, inserted in a discreet way to enhance it, so I thought light might be the solution. Hiding the luminous parts in the gaps between the columns seemed like a plausible idea. So I thought about Chiaroscura, the luminator with a triangular section, like the columns, which I designed for Foscarini with my son Francesco, and about its characteristic construction, made by using extrusions of aluminium and methacrylate, thus permitting different lengths, even to a maximum of 6 metres. The technology of extrusion and its intrinsic freedom of sizing suggested the idea of making a ‘scalar’ set that emits light from its three faces, on the staircase but also on the two steps that lead down to the theatre. It seemed interesting to give the set another dimension as well, a dynamic luminous dimension, so with Foscarini we have formulated an electronic solution to achieve this effect”.
An example of Foscarini’s ability to respond to the specific needs of architects and interior designers, CHIAROSCURA embodies the innovative character of the brand. A light that stems from the contemporary world, with a distinctive personality relying on the particular luminous effect, and the original rapport between form and function.
Designed by Alberto with his son Francesco, CHIAROSCURA is the contemporary reinterpretation of the classic luminator. Striking in its simple presence and capable of emitting light at 360°, CHIAROSCURA is the result of a design challenge: to explore the possibility of boosting the functionality of the classic luminator, which emits only upward indirect light. The elegant and light body, totally lit and no longer simply producing light, was the goal that guided the definition of the form, the choice of the materials and the production technologies.
Together with Foscarini, the Medas have expanded the lamp’s functioning, creating a triangular structure in extruded aluminium, equipped with LEDs: a “cage” inside which an extrusion in opaline plastic has been placed to spread the light. Unlike classic luminators, CHIAROSCURA thus offers ambient lighting at the sides and an indirect glow on the ceiling.
The slender and visually light body of CHIAROSCURA and its warm, welcoming light make the lamp versatile, ready to bring its own discreet personality, enhancing different settings, from residences to contract projects and offices.
For special design needs and upon request, Chiaroscura is a lamp which can be realised at different heights compared to the standard version available in the catalogue.