Magical Lighting: Giopato and Coombes – A Design Crush Interview



We talk to lighting design duo, Giopato and Coombes about their stunning new collection and the importance of lighting in your home. Having met them years ago in Milan, we specified their Bolle light for our Brockley project and our love affair with their stunning creations has continued ever since. Earlier this year we met up with them for the launch of their new collection exploring all the power of decorative lighting. Right up our street. For us there work has been a highlight of our design travels this year and we wanted to share it with you.

“Home for us is a quiet island. We are surrounded by green, and the colours are clear and neutral as we need to relax our vision at the end of the day” (Giopato and Coombes)


What inspires you?

We work especially in the lighting field. Light has a big power, to arise big emotions. A particular “atmosphere” is something that inspires us. Working with the light for us means creating a magical place, where people feel good sensations.


Where do you begin a new design?

We visualise a beautiful Interior and we ask ourselves “which lighting would emphasise this beauty?” Then we begin technological research, looking for the right lighting effect. Our interest is to study the behaviour of light, connected with the best shapes that enhance its beauty, looking for the technology that allows its existence.


Your latest collection questions ornamentation. Tell us more about this.

We presented, during Design Week in Milan, three lighting projects driven by the theme of decoration, taking the cue from reflections on the famous essay by the architect Adolf Loos “Ornament and Crime”. The issue approached by Loos, considered one of the founders of European Rationalism, is the functional uselessness of ornament in architecture, which draws attention away from the true utility of the building itself. We provocative ask: is ornament really a crime when it goes hand in hand with technological and functional growth? Our answer to this question takes the form of three collections of remarkable manufacturing quality and technological complexity that come together with the beauty of ornament.


What is the favourite piece you have ever designed?

Is like asking to a parent, which one is your favourite son... :) We can't answer.


What is your favourite piece of design that you have not designed?

Arco lamp from Catisglioni is always a great example of a perfect balance of aesthetic, clever in the solutions adopted, and technology of that period.



What is the secret to working successfully in a team?

The secret is understanding each other skills and strong points and give free expression to those ones. When we employ someone we really wish to understand his/her ambitions and we try to find the right position for each person.


What does 'home' mean to you?

Tranquillity. Our rhythms are quite hectic at work, and we need to travel a lot, so home for us is a quiet island. We are surrounded by green, and the colours are clear and neutral as we need to relax our vision at the end of the day, and go back to a white canvas.

Three words that describe you.

Intuition, technology, aesthetic.


Futurism or Classicism?

Futurism with a classicism background

Home or Away?

Away, we are just about to leave for Vietnam :)


How do you relax after a hard days designing?

Cristiana needs to relax having a bath, Christopher a beer

What is your key advice on using lighting in the home?

Light is very good to create an accent in your home. Decide on a focal point, and go for it!

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