Lighting design

Paola Navone’s Oblò pendant lamp for Lodes captures the essence of the sea

Paola Navone – OTTO Studio unveils a nautical-themed installation during Milan Design Week to celebrate the launch of the Oblò collection.

During Milan Design Week visitors to the Lodes showroom will be immersed in a shimmering seascape inspired by the filigree pendant lights that Paola Navone – OTTO Studio has designed for the Venice-based lighting brand. Dialling up the theatrics, the Italian architect sets the perfect stage for the presentation of the new Oblò lighting collection, which features a standout porthole-like glass diffuser. 

Oblò, which is the Italian word for ‘porthole,’ has a fluid silhouette and chromatic palette, evoking the sensations of the sea. Each distinctive fixture boasts a unique design, reminiscent of its namesake, with a glass diffuser that casts enchanting glows. 

Lodes _ Milan Design Week 2024 _ Oblò lighting collection by Paola Navone ‒ OTTO Studio
Oblò lighting collection by Paola Navone ‒ OTTO Studio – © Lodes

The diffuser comes in three different shapes and five finishes, three of which are hues reminiscent of the sea’s transparency. Its finishes range from iridescent to metallic blue, silk white, glossy smoke, and transparent, demonstrating the versatility of Pyrex glass in lighting design, and Lodes’ expertise in modular lighting. 

Where a single lamp serves as an amusing individual, a multitude of lamps make up a thousand possible installations. This potential will be captured perfectly at Lodes showroom during Milan Design Week, as Navone utilises the Oblò pendants as focal points, each one featuring a distinctive fixture reminiscent of ship portholes. 

Suspended gracefully by intricately knotted cables, on closer inspection, visitors will see that each pendant harbours an LED light source, evoking the serene sight of buoys gently floating on water.

Lodes _ Milan Design Week 2024 _ Oblò lighting collection by Paola Navone ‒ OTTO Studio
Oblò lighting collection by Paola Navone ‒ OTTO Studio – © Lodes

Additionally, Navone will employ red-painted metal tubes throughout the showroom, creating shapes reminiscent of beach cabins with endless combinations of red and white stripes.

Established in 1950 fueled by the founder’s genuine love for glass, Lodes has embarked on a transformative journey spanning three generations. Beginning with a deep reverence for light and its impact, the company has evolved to merge aesthetics seamlessly with technological advancements, fostering enduring connections with partners, collaborators, and the profound relationship between individuals, light fixtures, and their surroundings. 

Meanwhile, Paola Navone—an esteemed Italian architect and designer—has carved a niche for herself through her dynamic projects and exhibitions. With a career spanning nearly four decades, a global perspective, and what some would call theatrical sensibilities, Navone has become renowned for her eclectic and cosmopolitan style.

Lodes _ Milan Design Week 2024 _ Oblò lighting collection by Paola Navone ‒ OTTO Studio
Oblò lighting collection by Paola Navone ‒ OTTO Studio – © Lodes

A fusion of cultural experiences is evident in her work, which exudes a playful yet sophisticated allure, attracting collaborators such as Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass, and Andrea Branzi within the Alchimia group.

In 2000, Navone founded OTTO, a multidisciplinary design studio dedicated to realising her creative vision. Supported by a fifteen-strong team of talented individuals, the studio embarks on a myriad of projects spanning interior design, furniture, accessories, graphics, and creative direction. 

At its core is a collaborative approach and a diverse portfolio reflexive of Navone’s commitment to fostering a continuous exchange of ideas, resulting in a holistic and globally inspired design ethos. Oblò marks Lodes’ first partnership with Paola Navone – OTTO Studio, broadening its range with a collection that underlines its richly decorative essence. 

Navone’s distinct perspective and unmistakable design flair enhance Lodes’ ethos, introducing a fresh aesthetic dimension to Lodes, imbuing Oblò with her unconventional approach: “Oblò is a delightful family of lamps that touch on the essence of the sea,” Navone explains.

Lodes _ Milan Design Week 2024 _ Oblò lighting collection by Paola Navone ‒ OTTO Studio
Oblò lighting collection by Paola Navone ‒ OTTO Studio – © Lodes

“There’s a touch of surprise: the knotted cable houses an invisible LED source that illuminates the diffuser. Thus, only the glass is visible, akin to peering through a porthole.”

Oblò comes in three spherical forms capable of orchestrating diverse arrangements either individually or in combinations. Moreover, the flexibility to adjust the fabric cable enables users to modify suspension heights according to their preferences.

Diving further into the technical specifications of Oblò, its compact size belies its luminosity. The lamp emits a powerful glow diffused through its glass, offering a mesmerising array of colourful lighting effects across its various finishes. 

A key feature is its hook, constructed from a metal core coated with semi-transparent silicone, delicately supporting the diffuser. Attached to this hook is a white fabric cable with a grey rubberized terminal, allowing for adjustable suspension. 

This knot-and-cable assembly serves both aesthetic and functional purposes, resembling naval ropes while concealing the electric wiring that powers the LED. 

Oblò lighting collection by Paola Navone ‒ OTTO Studio – © Lodes

Ingeniously, Lodes ensures that the electric cable’s path to the hidden LED within the hook remains concealed, creating the illusion of the diffuser floating effortlessly in space—Oblò serves as both a high-functioning pendant light as well as a unique and intelligent design statement.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Paola Navone – OTTO Studio on this new lamp, furthering Lodes’ portfolio to seamlessly integrate with a wide range of environments,” says Lodes Managing Director, Massimiliano Tosetto (read our interview). 

“The flexibility inherent in Oblò, in terms of compositions and finishes, will be vividly articulated by the designer through a stunning colourful installation during Milan Design Week, hosted at Lodes’ Milan showroom.”

Oblò lighting collection by Paola Navone ‒ OTTO Studio – © Lodes

Experience the mesmerising fusion of design and illumination at Oblò by Lodes and Paola Navone – OTTO Studio, a captivating showcase taking place from April 16th to 21st, 2024, at the Lodes showroom, nestled in the heart of Milan at Via della Moscova 33, 20121, Italy.


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