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FULL HOUSE: design by Stephan Diez

From 15.-22.01.2017, on the occasion of the imm Cologne (International Furniture Fair), it was possible to view the buschfeld collection at two locations in the city. The LightLight system, a buschfeld classic, could be seen in different modified versions in the “Full House: Design by Stefan Diez” exhibition in the Museum of Applied Arts Cologne (MAK). A custom designed version was integrated into the New Order shelving units that Stefan Diez designed for Hay in 2012 and was applied in this case in the museum to form the matrix for the exhibition architecture.

Temporary lighting solution with the highest possible added value: For the exhibition at the MAK in Cologne, which will run until 11. June, 2017, what was required was a highly diverse lighting concept: both the unusual matrix the exhibition was built around, which was developed by Stefan Diez and comprised a series of cell-like elements and an open vertical hyperstructure that extended over three floors, as well as the architecture of the MAK itself with its extremely high ceilings, posed a special challenge with regard to the lighting: the concept was to incorporate spotlighting, focussed accent lighting and ambient atmosphere to enable the products designed by Diez Office to be viewed close up or from a distance to an optimum.

In fact, we turned the lightlight system into a contemporary tool for Stefan Diez.

Stephan Blass, CEO of buschfeld. “We adjusted our lighting solutions to the needs of the exhibition within a very short space of time. As well as we were fortunate to be able to cooperate with California-based lamp manufacturer Soraa and to use extremely high-quality, cutting-edge full-spectrum light sources, which also worked very well in the sometimes complex museum context. Retrofit solutions are possible: we can equip our classics, such as LightLight, with new light sources and wattages, resulting in some of the most up-to-date lighting solutions on the market”.

The exhibition comprises approximately 302 metres of installed LightLight track and around 40 shelving units with integrated lighting. Thanks to the excellent quality of the products it is possible to reveal a wide range of technical features. “We not only positioned the lighting horizontally, as we typically do, but also vertically to enhance the viewer’s perception,” Stephan Blass explains. In one part of the exhibition a chair designed by Stefan Diez is highlighted to perfection using a max spotlight at a distance of 10 to 15 metres. Equipped with a light source and different optics to produce a different beam angle, the same spotlight can provide optimum illumination over a wide area from a distance of just 30 cm. – Everything looks pleasantly and uniformly bright, but you cannot immediately see where the light is coming from. Buschfeld also succeeded in integrating the slimline LightLight track system seamlessly into the New Order shelving units. To a level of perfection that leaves one with the impression that this symbiosis of products was simply meant to be.

Depending on the context, it is essential that the luminaires feature discreet design so they do not compete with exhibits or the interior space as a whole. In the case of buschfeld, the track system is also sufficiently minimalist to allow it to be integrated into practically any kind of architecture, if required.

Stefan Diez’s comment: “It is something that keeps you thinking! The way the light is integrated into the Hay shelving units could actually be developed to become a really interesting project: right now there is nothing like it on the market, and we need it – urgently. For displays, trade fairs, shops etc. Companies who build furniture generally have no expertise when it comes to lighting”. – Diez Office, Hay and buschfeld are currently looking into the extent to which synergies resulting from the exhibition project could lead to new, concrete project opportunities.

Text: Kathrin Spohr
Photos: Diez Office, G. Kellermann, C. Meyer