Reflections on light – Maria Reig – part two

Light is a language that explains your culture and your sensibility.

-Which designers do you like?

-Those who think about comfort and values related to harmony, proportion and respect for the human being. In this sense, I identify with both the Japanese and the Scandinavian countries, whose cultures live very close to nature.

– You talk about lamps that are left on during the day.

I like them a lot. Now that LEDs hardly consume anything, it’s even better. It’s like the Nordic peoples usually do with firelight and candlelight: they are always present. We light candles at night, and they do so at 9 in the morning or noon. They eat with candles, and it’s not that they don’t have enough light; rather it’s the culture of fire and the wisdom of how to make a place cosy or create an atmosphere around fire.

When someone says, “there’s an ugly lamp on the nightstand, so I cover it with a handkerchief so I don’t have to look at it”, this handkerchief becomes a kind of language you use through that light, and it is projected into the atmosphere you want to create. Light is a language that explains your culture and your sensibility.

– You don’t adapt to the light, the light adapts to you.

– When I go to look for a lamp I don’t pay attention to whether it is for an office or a table top. I choose one because it casts my shadows in just the right way. I really like lamps that swing on arms. And I like them with opaque shades that funnel the light upward and downward. Just like when you build a house you tell an architect how you want to live, it would be great if you could tell a light manufacturer what you want the light to be like. If I could manufacture my own lamps, it would be easy with Marset.

 What role does light play when you decorate your spaces?

When the decoration in your house is beautiful to look at or take a photo of but you don’t feel good there, you wouldn’t stay there. With good decoration, you feel like taking refuge there, making it your place and living there; it’s like a nest. And light really helps in this. Points of light should illuminate to accentuate what you want to highlight; they create a language for the person looking. You illuminate the points where you want to show what you’re interested in displaying. Light is a language which reveals your culture and your sensibility.

If I were a Superwoman and could give out the Lamp Prizes, I would get rid of all who put the emphasis on design, creating a homage to themselves, those who walk around arrogantly “I’m a lamp designer”. Why do we put up with lamps that illuminate in a way that prevents us from living well and feeling good? You have to be daring with light and buy a lamp that works well with what you want to do, and not buy a design that bothers you, your house and your ambiance.

 -What is your relationship with Marset? How did it become part of your life?

– Through design. I noticed some lamps that I really liked and they were from Marset. What I like about Marset is its focus on a kind of design that does not follow well-worn patterns; it develops a culture of its own, part of it is local and part is international.

You can also clearly see that there is someone behind Marset, that it is a small-to-medium-sized company made up of people who like to listen, improve, surprise. I identify Marset with a modern Mediterranean culture.

-What is your relationship with the objects around you?

I’m not much of a collector of things that complicate life. For example, when I buy a work of art, I know that I’m going to have to like it my entire life. I’ve owned ninety percent of my things for many years and I still love them. Objects are like an elderly person or a home; the more years go by the more beautiful they become. They keep evolving. To me objects, just like light, are a language that show what you are like, but they show it subtly.