Reflections on light – Mathias Hahn- part two

I am particularly interested in light as shadow and the gradation of shadows themselves

What would you like the users of your lamps to perceive?
If we ask ourselves why we need a new lamp design, to me it’s the same as asking why read a new book, or why see a new film.
The design of an object is about more than its function or formal appearance. It is important that things function well but after having used them for some time, the interesting question is how do they fit into our individual lives. If they offer room for interpretation and we actually allow them to be part of our own routines they become valuable.

What do you want to spark in the viewer?
We all have a favorite cup or glass that we always end up grabbing without thinking about it. This is an intuitive use of objects because they bring us satisfaction. If things are not relevant to us, we don’t spend time with them.
The incredible thing is when people can create their own history with something you have designed, and it works. When I work on a project, I think about this potential. In each new design I make a clearly defined proposal, a statement, which might at first lead the viewer to be interested in or attracted to it. But later there is a second stage, which is after you use it over time. And you realize that there is more to it, that it might even be better than you thought.

The past decade has witnessed major changes in artificial lighting. Do you have favorite light sources?
The most important thing to me is having this evolution in mind. I am not in favor of or against the old or the new. The incredible thing is that we have so many possibilities today. And this gives us a great deal of freedom to experiment. We are still in the midst of the process of evolution. I am excited to see what’s to come.

Might the future of artificial light make lamps almost invisible?
I think that we will always need that materiality. At least in some places, we need the context. Technology may be very sophisticated, but we still like to touch a wooden table or wear leather shoes.

What lamp that you haven’t made would you like to design?
I’m working on it. And the good thing is that there is still so much left to explore. I am particularly interested in light as shadow and the gradation of shadows themselves.

What are your design referents?
I appreciate the work of past designers, although I don’t profess any “religion” and I don’t follow any manifesto. My interest lies in understanding things and grasping their evolution. I am extremely curious about how things work themselves, as well as in their context.
For example, if we talk about light, I am interested in asking why we are so fascinated with the incandescent bulb. It is a functional object, yet it has also become an icon and an international system. We also appreciate how easy it is to change… There are lots of aspects about it.

But you use LED technology in your new projects.
Today LED has evolved a great deal and comes in several different formats. If I use it, it’s because it allows me to do what I want to do. I believe in evolution. But for the same reason that we still use candles, we could also use incandescent bulbs.

Finally, could you give us a definition of light?
You could say that light is the brushstroke that paints everything in the world. Light is life. It is one of the essential things that exist. In today’s world, we all need light. And we are fascinated by it, by its relationship with the visual, with what we can see.