Kurage, a lighting fixture created by Nendoand Luca Nichetto

Kurage is a lighting fixture created through a collaboration of the Italian designer Luca Nichetto and the Japanese Studio Nendo (Oki Sato) for the company Foscarini. In a process and format similar to the Japanese poetry genre known as tanka (‘short poem’), in which the top three lines generate a further two-line response, they took turns coming up with a basic concept, which they then passed over to the other person to use as inspiration, and to further expand and develop.

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The project was an experiment in dynamic making, in which nothing was planned in advance. Because they worked collaboratively, the design process felt like a jam session, with each participant taking turns improvising new melodies on top of a shared rhythm until a new song emerged.

The Kurage collection takes inspiration from the ‘paper ice cream’

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Inspired by the ‘paper ice cream’ in this collection, the kurage was designed by carving the ends of 12mm diameter Japanese cypress posts flat like ‘ice candy sticks’. As a material for a lampshade to suit the extremely light post was needed, Luca Nichetto and Nendo developed an original material by dyeing traditional Japanese paper made in an unusual three-dimensional process, and applied it directly to this design.

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The Kurage lamp’s soft light, together with the paper fibres that it accentuates when lit, is reminiscent of a floating jellyfish, bringing out a new expressive quality to the piece.

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