Inspiration can come from anywhere. For designer Adin Ibrahim, it’s Italy in the seventies when the postmodernism era birthed playful designs and explosive colours; it’s a person’s bold and vivacious energy; it’s a leftover material so futile at first glance that you wonder what you can do with it. The La Luce di Asmara lamps, which made their physical debut at the 13th edition of Indonesia Contemporary Art & Design back in September, are a culmination of all three.
Done in collaboration with Indonesian actress, dancer and longtime friend Asmara Abigail (hence the name), La Luce di Asmara’s backstory can be traced back to their days in Milan where they first met in 2017; Adin was working in an architecture studio and finishing his studies at Politecnico di Milano while Abigail was taking a short programme in the neighbouring city of Perugia. “We just click from the get-go. We both love art, history, and design, so it was so effortless for us when we decided to come together for this,” said Adin.
Made from sawdust waste, the collection of handmade lamps (La Grande Asmara, La Media Asmara and La Picolla Asmara) sees Adin exploring new materials and shapes—the latter an influence he drew from the postmodernism era. “If you see the lamp, it doesn’t resemble anything. The shape itself is uncanny. In the end, I’m talking about freedom of thoughts and shapes,” said Adin. Abigail added, “That’s the spirit of postmodernism that we both miss. Like when you’re angry and you respond to your feelings by creating something—likewise for these lamps.”
Owning one of these illuminating pieces also means that one is taking a small part in the sustainability movement, a bonus for those who are starting to be aware and mindful of how the items they use daily are created. But Adin himself prefers to see his designs from an experimental standpoint. “How to create materials from anything is part of me experimenting as a designer. So with these lamps, I try to conclude it in a sense that I’m not trying to create an alternative material, but an altogether new material experience.”
At the flip of a switch, the waste materials materialise, resembling ethereal floating dust that disperses across the translucent lampshades. The purple tint, a colour chosen to express Abigail’s bold character, ignites like soft beams rather than harsh streaks. It’s not the kind of light that sharpens your focus and aids you while working, but one that diffuses just enough glow to elevate intimate moments. On your bedside, in dimly-lit dinner settings, as a conversation starter during coffee table talks, these lamps carry their own presence.
La Piccola Asmara – 305x160x285 mm – IDR 3,900,000 | La Media Asmara – 305x160x315 mm – IDR 5,900,000 | La Grande Asmara – 305x160x415 mm – IDR 7,900,000 | Available for online purchase at Jenara Design.
Manual Pick is a series where we highlight items we love and desire that range from remarkably banal to mucho fancy.