Tress Lamp. Designed by Marc Sadler for Foscarini.
The piece is an enigmatic cylindrical lightpiece created from the unlikely material of resin-soaked fiber which furthers Sadler’s reputation for working with unorthodox materials and innovative production processes. The designer begins by weaving fabric into an intricate pattern of random intersections (and the traffic metaphor is apt in this case: a close-up of Tress reveals an uncanny resemblance to tire treads). He then immerses the weave in polycarbonate resin, casts it as a cylinder, and voila! The final touch is Sadler’s clever inclusion of dual, independent light sources. The lower switch casts light horizontally, filling the various apertures sketched by the cross-hatching and throwing light at odd lateral angles; while the upper switch projects light vertically, imparting a decided celestial bent to the proceedings. All this conspires to give Tress an unusual aesthetic that highlights the haphazard interplay of shadow and light, of positive and negative space.
The piece presents the enviable distinction of combining no less than three distinguishing production strategies we’ve long admired: using resin to give form and shape to fabric (see a Knotty Topic); employing a traditional weave pattern to impart a distinctive aesthetic (see Ami Ami; and integrating a randomized construction element to cast light in new ways (see the Suomi Suspension Lamp). This fortuitous trio (is it pushing it a bit to suggest that this may be the origin of the name?) gives Tress a distinctive quality that makes its debut at Milan Design Week a much anticipated one.