Just to let people know how beautiful Moooi’s designs are, the Dutch company, founded by Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers, added an extra ‘O’ to the company’s name. And when it comes to their lighting, used both in domestic and commercial settings, the word ‘iconic’ is appropriate. Combining artistry with the latest technology, there’s a sense of familiarity with each new design, but one that establishes a new way of thinking about light.
Moooi’s Random and Non-Random lights, designed by Bertjan Pot, have remained popular for architects and designers since they first appeared in 2007. Evocative of the 1970s, these transparent woven fibreglass lights allow soft light to permeate a room, whether placed over a dining table, a living area or greeting people in the lobby of a home or a hotel. Compared to a finely woven spiderweb, as in the case of Random Light II, or an open weave fabric as with Non-Random, there’s a sense of whimsy and playfulness that bears the hallmark of Moooi design.
Architect David Neil’s recent renovation of a 1980s Melbourne house by architect Max May, owned by builder Neil McLennan, included three Non-Random pendant lights – two in black and one in white combine with function. Located above the dining table set within a double-height void, they add a sculptural quality to the open plan living spaces. “They’re the first thing you notice when you walk into the space, accentuating the dramatic ceiling heights,” David says, who, like Neil, wasn’t after lighting that emitted too strong a light. “This house is extremely light,” Neil says, pointing out the generous glazing that formed part of May’s original design. “I love the quality of the light these pendants provide and their distinctive shape,” he adds.
Other Moooi lights offer a similar ethereal quality. The Raimond II, designed by a mathematics professor, Raimond Puts, takes the form of a sphere composed of a series of triangular shapes that emit light through an electrical current. The Heracleum II, also by Bertjan Pot, exemplifies how technology and art are brought together, with this light powered by Moooi’s patented Electrosandwich – a technique of coating conductive layers. And as is the case with many of the company’s designs, nature is a focus with this light treating the branches like the blossom of a tree.
The iconic Coppelia designed by Arihiro Miyake, with its double structure that channels an electric current, evokes the classical ballet Coppelia, with the image of a mechanical doll coming to life on the stage. Moooi’s Meshmatics, designed by Rick Tegelaar, show how even humble wire can be transported into another world, loosely referencing the Art Deco period of the 1930s with the finest in contemporary design. Interior designer Lucy Marczyk used Moooi’s Meshmatics in a lobby/vestibule for a home looking for something that felt light and welcoming, but also providing a sense of arrival. “The quality of light is perfect and I love the way the three layers add depth but still create a sense of transparency,” Lucy says.
While Moooi has made its indelible mark in the world of light, its more recent designs, such as Flock of Light by Studio Toer and Gravity by Paul Cocksedge, reimagine the traditional chandelier and ensure Moooi’s presence in lighting for decades to come. Who else would have released Perch, designed by Umut Yamac, a series of lights where bird-like forms are delicately perched on metal branches? The birds’ golden beaks and their golden-tipped feathered tails exemplify Moooi’s masterful yet unorthodox approach to lighting, creating icons in the past and well into the future.