(jiří macek) Picking mushrooms can result in many things – for example, scrambled mushrooms, mushroom soup, mushroom gratiné, even hallucinations. In the case of René Šulc, it can also result in a brilliant collection of lights.
Inspired by the shapes of various mushrooms, René Šulc (Inveno) designed a collection of lights for Lucis in which mushrooms (or lamps, rather) can change their caps. These organic lamps from white glass and fibreglass include floor lamps, table lamps, and suspension lights. Like in a forest, one can say: The more mushrooms, the better.
Which mushrooms inspired you in particular? And why mushrooms?
René Šulc: “I would say the standard floor lamp shape is reminiscent of mushrooms. Therefore, I simply leafed through an atlas of mushrooms. I was very inspired by morels, champignons, saffron milk caps, puffballs, and toadstools. I was inspired by their shapes, especially by that of the morel…”
Morels and stinkhorns are beautiful. Do you enjoy picking mushrooms?
RŠ: “I like picking mushrooms. But I haven’t eaten them since I almost poisoned myself eight years ago. Picking mushrooms is very relaxing. It is a kind of search and finding, sometimes not finding and simply wandering. This is what mushrooms and design have in common.”
Could you explain the concept of your collection? What is the most essential thing in your opinion?
RŠ: “The whole concept is based on the fact that there are four collections that have some parts in common. The assignment came from the Lucis company after they asked me to design four collections of lamps with several common features in order to minimize production and storage costs, making them more effective. In the beginning, I did not find this idea very feasible. However, I gradually realized what a challenge it was. The most essential thing for me is the fact that it really works and that one can combine legs and shades in such a natural way. I also appreciate that I managed to design shades that are rotatively symmetric – which is an ideal technology for manual glass forming.”
You have always been interested in lights. Why?
I like what lights encompasses. It is a necessary knowledge of technologies, light sources, the basics of wiring, and, last but not least, design, the visual form. Lights have to comply with many standards that are very limiting for you. And it is this connection of limits and their possibilities with the transcendental “in the beginning there was light” that keeps inspiring me.”
One can find the Lucis collection of lights that was inspired by mushrooms together with other new pieces in Superstudio Corso from October 7 to October 12 during Designblok.