Designers and artists Stéphane and Frouwkje Pagani, the creative forces behind PaganiStudio, partnered with Baker in 2009 to create The Pagani Collection. The striking lighting designs that resulted from this partnership have been called modern sculpture. We asked the Paganis to share with us the inspiration behind these designs — and weren’t surprised to learn how much art, architecture and fashion influenced their lighting collection.
While designing the Pagani Collection for Baker, we approached this project with our signature design philosophy: marrying classic materials with contemporary forms, to achieve an elegant and timeless balance. We carefully chose four noble materials for the collection: Murano Glass, Cast Bronze, French Plaster, and Sculpted Marble.
These four materials are steeped in history. Each is hand-sculpted, hand-blown or hand-cast by artisans whose work is a result of appreciation, sensitivity, and passion. When working with the Baker artisans in Italy, we were very impressed and we knew they understood immediately what we were looking for.
To complement our study of materials, we looked at Parisian 1940s interiors and furniture, men’s and women’s couture fashion, modern jewelry, large scale garden sculptures, the organic shapes of natural pearls, and the elegance of Murano Chandeliers.
Hand-blown Murano chandeliers have ornamented Renaissance Venetian palazzos for centuries, and we were interested and eager to explore this classic material.
The cast bronze Anneau Table Lamp translates the design into an exquisite sculptural piece that emphasizes the interaction between volumes and shading variations within the luxurious hand patina of the bronze.
This wonderful study was of great importance to us while designing the Mode, Anneau and Sculpte fixtures, and the selection of sculpted plaster, cast bronze and marble was evident to translate the beauty of the juxtaposition of forms and textures.
While in the South of France, we always make our annual pilgrimage to the Maeght Foundation in Saint Paul de Vence. It’s a spectacular museum for mid-century sculpture and art. They have a wonderful sculpture garden that has been greatly influential to us and our work. We love to spend an afternoon walking through the pine trees, past meandering stone walls, around the water fountains; listening to the cicadas and enjoying the sunlight and shadows that celebrate the beautiful sculptures and interact with the modern architecture.
For the design concept of Linea fixtures, we were inspired by men’s fashion, and specifically, the clean lines of a tailored Burberry men’s suit. We were inspired by their choice of exquisite fabric, elegant form and impeccable execution.
The natural light during the day would change the appearance of the white plaster, from an ethereal bluish tone, to a warm, sun-filled hue.
The simplicity and noble quality of the material, combined with its flexibility, demanded further exploration. French white plaster also lends itself to creating an ethereal sculpted silhouette, as with Diego Giocometti’s plaster sculpture, “Spoon Woman.” Giocometti focuses on the pure shape and form. We love how the angular head piece transitions into a full bodice. The beauty of its sculptural possibilities in conjunction with its purity, offered an exciting prospect.
During this design process, we also looked at flowing layers of fabric in couture dresses, wrapping around the body, creating negative and positive space, revealing and hiding the natural curves as they transform the body into a sculptural form.
To explore the abilities of French plaster even further, we were eager to develop a custom hand patina finish that added warmth and was textural. We spend a lot of time in the South of France, and when we were in Italy, working with the Baker artisans, we described to them that we wanted to create a custom finish, evoking the rich texture of ancient French stonewalls, when the bright sun shines upon the stones, creating a warm glow and capturing the textural beauty of the Mediterranean landscape.
After a passionate exchange, we felt that the father and son team understood what we were describing and the next morning, they had created the perfect custom finish (shown on the Anneau Chandelier, above).
We were impressed and very pleased.