ewo works tenaciously on connecting first-class lighting technology with high quality creations; this is our second collaboration with the Swiss designer Jörg Boner. After UN, ewo is now introducing the GO luminaire. „We are broadening our portfolio with GO to include another interesting product with a diverse range of uses, which is state of the art and able to meet formal requirements”, emphasizes ewo’s head of marketing, Hannes Wohlgemuth.
GO is conceptualized as a family of products. Available as standing and wall luminaires, they are suitable for residential streets, parks and buildings built close to one another. Jörg Boner: „We translated as many contexts and usage requirements into one simple and clear language. The language of the design of GO is restrained, yet simultaneously strong enough that it marks the luminaires with a recognizable personality."
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Interview with designer Jörg Boner
What were the challenges you faced when developing the GO luminaire?
The two classic things: form and function. The task was somewhat more difficult because what was to come into the luminaire had already been decided upon. The project had begun in such a way that you had to give it an external shape. But if you look at the GO today it is not only the outside but also the inside which has been designed; the design task has thus been further developed along with the project.
You spoke about functionality and form; this is a much-discussed relationship. Is that a place where, as a designer, one often has to compromise?
I wouldn’t dwell too much on compromise because working under certain conditions is part of this profession. We’re not free artists; our task is practical design. And that’s exactly what makes this job so stimulating for me: creating the best under these conditions. Of course, I also question functions that initially appear be a given. That was the case with GO as well. Looking at a luminaire from below it struck me that the inside of the luminaire is actuallyvery important for ewo. Because this company’s great quality lies in its engineering, in its highly developed technology. The lens optic is ewo’s centerpiece, so to speak. And that is something that should be made evident. So I’ve tried not to simply introduce the optics from below, but to treat them like a piece of jewelry?presenting them on a velvet cushion, to a certain extent.
The designer-client relationship is an intensive dialogue process most of the time, isn’t it?
This dialogue is very important. That’s why there are really no compromises, but rather negotiated decisions from both parties. That works very well when collaborating with ewo. On the one hand there are very clear parameters that must be respected; on the other hand there’s always negotiation room, which one can create.
From a formal standpoint, what sets the GO luminaire apart?
The luminaire is distinctive because it traces the exit of the light in a certain way. A round dome shape slopes down towards the front tip on a slightly conical rim. The slightly sloping cover indicates the direction, lowering it away from the mast. It’s also the first time that ewo designed the inside as well.
One of ewo’s principles is that the light is paramount; the luminaire less so. What does the designer say about that?
This is a subject that interests me intensely right now. How does one make something that has presence, yet is restrained? That’s an exciting task. With the UN, the first luminaire I designed for ewo, the form was very strong. The new GO luminaire is much nearer to ewo’s philosophy: it is as quiet as possible and as present as necessary.
Are there actually trends in luminaire design as well?
Trends are attributions from outside, and that’s always somewhat difficult for me. If there is currently a trend, then in that case there are many directions. What I do notice is that, at first, LED technology brought everyone to design the new luminaires completely flat. I think that was a mistake because LEDs, together with all their necessary components, cannot be installed flat as one might think at first glance. Luminaires have lost their character. Luckily, that is changing again now.