Interview with Ray Power: The Mind Behind LZF´s New Wave Pendant Lamp
Ray Power has an eye for detail. In his time designing, he has created some of LZF’s most recognized and popular fixtures. Obsessed with the concept of infinite shapes, Ray has been dubbed by some as the M.C Escher of industrial design. Here’s a little Q&A with Ray and a look into his newest design, the Wave Pendant Lamp.
The New Wave pendant lamp, a play on words related to one of our older models, the Hola, is his latest creation. As usual, he looks to keep this tradition alive. Created by placing two wood veneers inside one another, the New Wave forms an endless, sinuous shape. The effect is delicate yet solid, achieved through the combination of wood, light, and good design.
We asked Ray some questions about himself and his new fixture, the New Wave, to better understand his process:
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
There’s a moment when you find yourself in your element. When you’re coming up with a new idea, that is the most exciting moment. It’s like an opiate. You’re taken by it and you’re going with it wherever it goes. It is very exciting. At the same time, I think it’s probably a little bit selfish to think that this as the most enjoyable moment, as I don’t find it really relates to anybody or anything yet. There is more satisfaction to be had when a design is successfully brought to its ending, be it as the original intention or not.
Where do you draw inspiration?
I’m just a little bit of a nut for geometry and solids. I used to really get into the geometric shapes during my design technology classes in secondary school, which I found to be more interesting than art class. I guess since then, I have always tried to look out for that aesthetic and keep things as pleasing to the eye as possible, drawing on this inspiration, while being respectful to all other art forms out there.
In your opinion, what should good design do?
Any aesthetic, if something is beautiful and functional, and brings pleasure and a joy, is a good thing. It should also fulfill the requirements of the client, who can be anybody. A design doesn’t have to change the world, but it would be pretty cool if all your clients were asking you to design something that was good for the world, but that’s not always the case.
To sum it up, design has to fulfill its function, that of which the client is asking of it.
How has your work with LZF compared to other collaborations you have been involved in?
I would say the very human relationship I have with LZF. My dealings with Marivi and Sandro has left me with the sentiment that they are very much `real people.’ And you can tell that and appreciate that. Everybody seems to be very happy there, and you get to know everybody in the factory, it’s like one big family. I don’t find that there is as much trust with other companies I have worked with, as I have with LZF.
Whose designs are you most envious of and why?
All the successful ones [Laughs]. More specifically there are some designers who have done some really cool geometric work, like Patricia Urquiola who is a Spanish designer working out of Milan. I find her work to be fresh and geometrically driven.
How would you describe your approach to design?
I am always looking out for the aesthetic element in the overall composition. It appears like magic, sometimes very early on in the process, sometimes later. After that, I need to make sure that magic stays with the design as it moves forward and solidifies into a realistic project.
How many variations did it take to get to the final model of the New Wave?
Quite a few. I was working with this composition with other materials and an Italian manufacturer was interested, but unfortunately for economic reasons they cut back on new designs and mine got the chop. Then LZF took it up, though we needed to make sure the wood veneers would take well to the design. An exciting moment was when we managed to combine two different colour veneers into the same lamp in such a stylish way. Then we knew we were on the right track and close to completion.
What was the most difficult part of the development of the New Wave?
I think it was maintaining the aesthetic that magic I mentioned previously, throughout the different design stages, because it came quite early in the process.
What do you know now that you wish you knew ten years ago?
“Ah! when I was a young lad……” I think I am becoming more humble. It helps me put everything into perspective. I know less now than I did then. But at least I know it! To sum up: Nothing lasts forever.
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From their humble beginnings of designing lamps in Valencia, Spain, Sandro Tothill + Marivi Calvo, the co-founders of Lzf Lamps, have evolved into an international success story — receiving numerous awards and outfitting homes and businesses in over 20 countries — thanks to their handcrafted lights and artistic creativity.