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23 June 2021
The designer tells us about his vision and his approach to design between aesthetics and function
Arik Levy‘s projects are characterized by essential lines that together give life to furniture, lights and accessories with a strong character. Function and poetics go hand in hand and in a few simple strokes, Levy solves a problem, fulfills a function and at the same time enchants the gaze. Vibia‘s designer, he has also collaborated with Lasvit, Emu, Desalto, Dedon and others. He has a personal way of reaching balance in a light but profound way and he tells us about it in this interview.
What are the values that you cultivate through your work?
we have to pay attention to what we do and why we do it…. we have gone through a period where design as a notion got to be a wider field of action and reached a much larger population. We are here to solve problems and improve everyday life all together by being responsible and attentive. Design is not about a hype or parties in Milan… it is about having an “I care” attitude.
Can product design be a way to bring a moment of reflexion into everyday life? Definitely! but it all depends on how one designs and, not less important, about the perception of the user…. this factor takes me back to education: do we educate our kids to appreciate details, efforts, beauty and function!? I’m not sure… I see the world getting visual and tactile, where design for everyday life is tactile and we are tactile beings. if a product of any kind has made its user jump to a reflection level, that means it’s a good one (and the user too!)
How did the Vitra Toolbox project come about? I know it dates back to a few years ago but it has always intrigued me a lot for its simple but useful beauty.
This is a dear project to me. it all started when I designed the Cartier headquarters in Paris in the year 2000… I was also working on various office systems and projects where I was looking for the best solution to eliminate the pedestal drawers elements under the desk: drawer units take lots of space, get dusty and packed with forgotten stuff and are expensive, At the same time, I also wanted to clean the table space. The ToolBox was born to replace the drawers unit and create a small compact and useful table top organiser. I started my convincing rodeo at Vitra: it was not easy and it took time, but finally they came to agree that this would be a good product, and indeed in no time it has become a classic… Banks order them by the thousands, as well as small and big corporations, it is good for the home, in the kitchen, bathroom, the kids room… you name it! We even have lots of followers copies such as Muji and others…I take as a compliment!
What kind of atmosphere did you want to evoke with the North lamp for Vibia?
North light for Vibia is not only a light of great quality, a metaphor of space poetry, but is also a statement and a “compass” function in design by discussing the contradiction between floor and pendent, base and source etc. It is a collection the embraces large number of typologies in an elegant, problem solving and poetic way. The atmosphere it creates is that one of the North light… embracing, luminous yet intimate and cosy.
In general, what is your approach to lighting design?
Techno-poetry and magic touch as well as kinetics of the eye and interpretation of the user.
Portrait of Arik Levy by Peggy Schmidt
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