INTERVIEW – Arik Levy

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Until now, Delta Light’s products have primarily been designed by its 30-strong internal R&D team, led by the company’s founder, Paul Ameloot. This year, however, the company has broken new ground by joining forces with the designer Arik Levy, who has dreamt up a new exterior collection, “Butler”, to complement the brand’s range.

The culmination of two years’ work, Butler is Delta Light’s flagship for the exploration of previously uncharted territory. Different from the typical Delta Light design code, Arik came up with a reinterpretation of the lampshade archetype. Suited for both residential and commercial projects, designed to upgrade any patio, garden or walkway.

At first sight, the Butler appears to be made of aluminium like most outdoor lights, but when you touch the shade, it’s immediately clear that such finesse and detail could not be created using metal. The Butler’s distinct personality comes from the material chosen: a polymer with a highly resistant powder paint coating.

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How did the story start between you and Delta Light?

We met for the first time at Light+Building 2014. I knew the Delta Light brand and appreciated their style and design. There was an instant click with Paul Ameloot and his sons Peter and Jan. For me it is crucial to work with people that are really passionate about what they do, and not just looking for the next product. We also share a passion for architecture. I loved the new building when I came to visit them. All these elements convinced me that we should collaborate.

After that meeting, what happened next?

We met up a few more times as they came to view my work at my studio, and also the RockGrowth that I had installed at the Atomium in Brussels. I then presented them with a few proposals and was very pleasantly surprised when they opted for the Butler collection, as it’s radically different from anything else in their catalogue. But that’s also what interested me about the project: taking Delta Light into new territories, proposing a more emotional interpretation of light.

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Give us a sense of the spirit of this collection…

These days, we move almost seamlessly from the inside to the patio and beyond. The borders are becoming more blurred and it is human beings themselves who act as the bridge between these diverse spaces. My initial idea was to use a typically indoor object as a metaphor, one which helps you to feel at home in your external space. Lighting is a good vehicle for this, so I started from the idea of the archetypal lamp, with a base and a shade. Something simple, obvious even. It’s a code immediately familiar to everyone and which is becoming iconic. Then, I remembered a pile of pleated paper that I’d seen in the streets of Paris, used to create the well-known plissé fashion classics. The light and shade was playing upon it in an incredible manner and this made me think of the folded fabric of lamp shades, which is also used for clothing, curtains, etc.… And the rest is history!

But transposing this idea into reality must have been complicated…?

Yes it was. We first tried creating the shade out of injected metal, but the result was quite rough and lacked the finesse I wanted without re sizing the light, which I didn’t want to do. The Delta Light team was incredible. For three months, they worked hard to find the right solution: a polymer sufficiently resistant for exterior use yet still meeting the project specifications. That’s what I like about this company: their willingness to commit themselves fully, to unhesitatingly challenge the status quo in order to transcend limits. They’re technical obsessives, manufacturers whose products takes time to design and, rather than being disposable, are really made to last.

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The Butler is very different from the other Delta Light ranges…

I would describe this project as “techno-poetic”, as it combines a highly technical side with an emotional aspect. This mix is a perfect fit for Delta Light, a family company which, as well as having a real command of the technical side, knows how to combine this with good design. Personally, I’m very sensitive towards the objects surrounding me. They talk to me, just like people. The Butler does this too: it’s a gentle, curved lamp, so it’s feminine, of course. It can live alone or be installed in clusters, to play with its different heights. It also equally suited to a hotel or a private home. It delivers a lighting experience. In my view, Delta Light are incredibly daring to agree upon this path. I’m quite impressed by the capacity of Belgian people to push the envelope sometimes and be daring!

www.deltalight.co.uk


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