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Benwirth Lighting - My work with light is very experimental

Benwirth Lighting - My work with light is very experimental

The company benwirth licht is located in the lovely district Neuhausen in Munich. Here we meet the passionate light designer, who attracts attention with his unusual light fixtures. The rooms accommodate a showroom as well as manufacturing, packaging, shipping and distribution of light fixtures. Here you can see fiddling and finishing. The high-quality designer lamps are produced partly in series, partly as specials and one-offs.

Light & Living spoke with Ben Wirth about his ideas and light objects as well as future developments.

Mr. Wirth, why have you dedicated yourself to the medium of light and what fascinates you about it?  

Ben Wirth: There is no life without light. Light makes our environment tangible and understandable; with artificial light, we interpret the space, the environment and create moods. Our entire well-being is influenced by light. My work with light is very experimental, I try out a lot of different things and work a lot with models and prototypes. It's always about the dialog between the object and the light. If one looks at your lights, one will notice the unconventional design with some unusual materials.

Do you consider your lights a piece of art?  

Ben Wirth: The light 1st Aid as well as the lamps kuk0 and kukl had the material as a starting point, which fascinated me. I have tried to optimize the essence of these materials with the help of light. With other lights I have a different approach. Therefore the light Incredible Bulb was created during some 'experiments'. For the light systems Cluster+ and *Track I approached it very conceptually. With the light fixture Cluster+, I wanted to create a diverse, flexible lighting system that combines the two promising illuminants OLED and LED. The light system *Track had the approach to minimize the lamp and to find a solution for the recurring problem of missing ceiling outlets. This very rational approach to the lightweight, sculptural light system cannot be noticed, and I am very glad about it.

kuk0 by Ben Wirth  

Some designers can immediately be recognized by their "handwriting". Is seems to be difficult for me with your lights. Where in each lamp is the "Ben Wirth"?

Ben Wirth: I find that all my lights are very slimmed down. I'm trying to free them from anything superfluous. Maybe it is a characteristic of my lights that they are technically or maybe not. For example the light Cluster+ with all the visible technique has a very ornament structure. I always experience that people who know my light fixtures only from pictures find them first too technical, but they revise this opinion when they see them "live". What all my lights have in common, is that everything is visible. There is no covering material, no casing. The technology and the design are usually visible.

You are among the few designers that have created an OLED lamp with Cluster+. Should OLED be of consumer interest at this point?  This lamp combines OLED with LED. The magnet system allows to adjust the lamp.    

Ben Wirth: There are very significant developments in lighting technology at the moment. We are at a turning point with regards to room lighting. The light bulb as a central element in the room disappears; OLED and LED technologies have taken its place and allow new lighting concepts. Here you find two light sources that complement each other very well - on the one hand the OLED with its soft non-directional light, on the other hand LED as a pointed light source, whose lighting can be used very specifically by focusing the beam on a specific spot. At this time organic light-emitting diodes are not really the first choice for consumers. Apart from the price the service life and quality of light still needs to be improved. But the progress will be rapid: the company Osram is currently building the first OLED factory in Regensburg, and in a few years OLED will be mentioned along with LED, when talking about light options.  

Mr. Wirth, thank you very much for the interview.  

Ben Wirth Info:  Ben Wirth was born in 1965 in Munich. After an apprenticeship as a carpenter he studied two years at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and then architecture at the College of Art in Berlin. After graduating he became an independent furniture and lighting designer in Munich: in 2006 he founded the company benwirth licht. The murals kukl and kuk0 he designed as well as the system Cluster+ were awarded the DesignPlus Prize and were nominated for the design award Germany. This team consists of: Ben Wirth (design). Kilian Huettenhofer (technical development). Mirjan Zahid (distribution, PR) Folk art Street 75, Munich. www.benwirth.com

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