Human beings have always valued light a lot. In the beginning we had just wood fire and we were making legends about it, then candles were created and we were writing books in the calmness of the night, and now we have electricity which we learned to enframe it ornamentally and artfully as if it is a jeweler work on precious stone.
Our hero today is Jasmin Liebetrau – she is a designer of a wonderful lamps series. It would not be exaggeration to say that one does not need to match her lamp into a room design, but vice versa – design the room to match the lamp style.
Jasmin, tell us, what has inspired you to make your first lamp?
I realized my first illumination object in 2009. As a creative minded person I`m usually working late into the night. So I need artificial lighting to keep on going during these „dark“ hours of the day. I recognized that most of lamps are just made of glass, metal, or unhealthy plastics. At this time it was extraordinary to create completely wooden lamp shades. A lot of designers worked with fittings made of concrete or veneers. I adopted shapes and constructions of furniture like cabinets or rectangular shelves and added an illuminant.
Solid wood, veneers and papers. Sometimes I’m using metal, glass, vintage materials or wood which I found on the streets as well. I never felt passion for plastics. To touch artificial materials with hands feels like touching something dead. Beyond my understanding is for instance simulating wooden surfaces by using artificial synthetics to cover floors, furniture or car interiors. To replace human beings with robots will be perhaps reality one day as well. In case of being very optimistically minded you can call it progress but to me it sounds more like a nightmare.
After critical analysis of the current state of our environment it is necessary to ask how this world should be left for next generations. That includes to avoid materials like plastics and thinking about throw- away- mentality. So using very traditional time- consuming technics like shellac- finishing to keep cultural diversity in modern times is an essential part of my work. That`s exactly the main focus of my design. Building bridges between past and present to let become a liveable future possible.
I`ve always been fascinated by lights, shadows and their interactive relations. Light is able to change moods and it is very similar to water. Both own special physical characteristics which emphasizes reflection, speed and optics, especially colour changing. What colour has light? What colour has water? You will find no suitable answer. You can`t really catch light, but it can feel warm or cold- water too. For me light is like dry water. Because of synesthetic skills I usually get in mental touch with optical effects just in seconds. Colours, shapes and textures are able to trigger a wide range of different emotions. So I like it very much to play with these perceptions in my interior design works.
Actually I am very happy with my niche existence. Important to me is that much more designers acting interdisciplinary far away from crusty study structures at universities. Especially in my own case it`s a job enrichment and personal gain at the same time to have that professional knowledge of conservation which influences my contemporary design works. Transforming existing vintage materials into modern interiors and articles of daily use will have much more relevance than mass production or seasonal changing trends. So I am very lucky to be based in Berlin, a place which is one of the global epicentres of contemporary design and arts. Because of vibrant movements and interactive exchanges between different creative fields you can take a look into the future there.