Wood is one of the world’s oldest design materials, its use spanning millennia. A noble and honest substance, wood’s tactile quality and beauty express a direct connection with nature. Wood has a level of refinement and depth that often sets it apart within a design context. Suitable for use in a great number of environments, wood has sustained a holistic relevance and utility that cannot be overlooked in architectural and design discourse.
Wood’s tensile qualities were especially tested and trialled during the 20th century’s midcentury modern architecture and design era (around 1933 to 1965). Charles and Ray Eames, Hans J. Wegner, Arne Jacobsen and Alvar Aalto were among the many notable designers bending, moulding and shaping wood, so creating numerous furniture design icons. Nowadays, the midcentury modern style continues to inspire architects and designers, where wood is employed in building and design projects. A wood aficionado through and through, LZF finds that its collections dovetail well with the midcentury aesthetic.
It was during the rather innocent job of choosing kitchen veneers that Marivi Calvo and Sandro Tothill, LZF’s co-founders, discovered the translucent nature of wood. Setting the veneers on a light table, they realised the potential of wood as a diffusing material. In time, LZF created Timberlite® wood veneers, producing handmade lamps that combined artisanship with modern-day production methods. Fast-forward to the present day and LZF’s wood lighting can be found in an array of environments. In public, private and commercial settings, LZF’s lamps fulfil a variety of lighting moods and requirements. For example, by combining veneers with acrylic lenses and diffusers, there are LZF lights (such as the Club series by Burkhard Dämmer) that offer the warmth of wood with the intensity of state-of-the-art LEDs.
Woodworking is a truly artistic craft, one where creativity and manufacturing unite. Wood has long been utilised in making furniture and objects, in interior design and construction. Wood’s properties are exalted and work to produce designs that are often experimental, expressive and elegant.
Used in conjunction with colder materials – concrete, glass, metal and stone – wood typically adds a beautiful homey feel. Moreover, wood works well with wood, where different timbers and veneers, natural or coloured, act to complement one another. When wishing to elevate the sense of harmony in a space, to add the perception of depth and a feeling of warmth, simply include a wooden chair or light (for example): one’s appreciation of the environment will improve markedly.
Ostensibly wood is a simple material and therein lies its true value. Long-lasting, organic and innovative, wood designs tell a story. Think of the wood light in its “off” state as a static sculpture. Switch it on and the light comes alive, its rich luminosity like an X-ray to the wood’s very soul. It is why wood is so good.
Writen by: Gerard McGuickin