Discover more from FOR SCALE
The only light that matters is "WET LIGHT"
Achieving SOUPINESS of LIGHT will make you brain-healthier (scientific study pending)
IN THIS ISSUE:
WTF is “A SOUP OF LIGHT”?, as demonstrated by types of Soup (food)
Introducing a new lamp that launches NEXT WEEK and we’re thrilled to get the jump on. (Some new things are truly wonderful! We’re not blind to this!)
Lighting one thing six ways, and what we learn (and were pretty unsurprised by, and hope you won’t be either
A reminder OF OUR SUPER HUGE NEWS. WE’RE ADDING A NEW TWICE-MONTHLY newsletter to the mix. It’s called FOR SCALE XL, and it’ll be a tiny subscription fee (to support us in continuing), and it’ll include:
Top tier folks being asked top tier interiors questions
Early access to very exciting stuff from Best Ever sellers; and clever, stylish people curating from Cr**glist and eB*Y, etc. (so you don’t have to)
Favorite Reference books that we’ll have SOURCED and will be availabe here in Los Angeles at UNTITLE (a great new bookshop in Echo Park)
OMG and lots more.
KICKING OFF MID-JUNE.
If revenge is a dish best served cold, LIGHT is a dish best served warm and wet. There are very, very few rules in life. One is this.
Let us explain – because it’s a particular light that is not natural (or not just). Décor light must not try and mimic the sun, it’s gotta be its own thing.
WARM AND WET LIGHT, in our independent study of Every Interior Ever (That We’ve Been In), is best.
WARM LIGHT: Daylight is warm because of literal heat from the Sun, or whatever; Décor Light must be warm in other ways, compensating for its shortcoming of Not Producing Substantial Heat through a far much warmer tone. TRICK THE MIND!
WET LIGHT: “Wet” light is soupy, as Troye Sivan would say. It doesn’t pierce your eyes, because it can’t. It’s not sharp, instead it’s, like… round? It snakes, and pools, and it kind of envelops you.
MODES OF LIGHT:
PUBLIC RESTROOM vs. SOUP OF LIGHT
You might say light is a spectrum, the way politics should be. And yet FOR SCALE identifies two distinct “modes”, of which one is wet/soupy.
If light is HARSHLY BRIGHT, OVERHEAD, and UNCOMPROMISING it is in “PUBLIC RESTROOM MODE”, because as the theory goes you want to really see everything clearly in there, even though one most definitely does NOT want to see public restrooms clearly.
This mode is also favored by WHITE BOX GALLERIES, AIRPORTS, HOSPITALS, SECOND TIER CIVIC BUILDINGS, and VERY BAD RESTAURANTS.
If light is SOOTHINGLY WARM, COMING FROM BESIDE YOU (or seemingly so), and UNIVERSALLY FLATTERING it is in Soup of Light or “WET” mode. Far more difficult to achieve – hence this report.
This is favored by THE BEST HOMES, EXCEPTIONAL RESTAURANTS, the film CAROL, and the artist CARAVAGGIO.
Here’s another example, using daylight (a “mode” we shall call as such for the purposes of symmetry, but it’s not really a mode - it’s nature):
The litmus test to differentiate between P.R. Mode and S.o.L. Mode is to imagine yourself deeply hungover, and then ask the question: “Could I bear to look at myself in the mirror?”
If you think it’s something you could stomach, you’re in a Soup of Light.
TO START OFF:
AN ODE TO THE TABLE LAMP
In one of his MANY SEMINAL BOOKS, pretentious critic Deyan Sudjic writes of light “Our perceptions of what the world is like depend, for the most part, upon light.” (Saying ‘upon’ lets you know he’s British.) AND HE’S SPOT ON.
Here, he provides one object lit 6 different ways, to demonstrate the influence of light.
CONCLUSION: We are DIFFUSED TABLE LAMP PEOPLE here at FOR SCALE. The table lamp is a crucially WET light – it ain’t harsh, it ain’t stabby. And ergo “diffused light from table lamp” is a crucial SOUP OF LIGHT ingredient.
Aside: NORA EPHRON
We’d like to take this moment for a one-sentence aside which is that we LOVE NORA EPHRON. She pioneered the “KITCHEN LAMP”, which - through her films - introducted the table lamp into novel “Above the fridge”, and “Back of the counter” positions.
LIGHT AND SANITY
Light is crucial for mental state. When entering a room we have never, ever, chosen overhead lights as a first port of call. Even in total darkness, we first search for a table lamp and (once found) will fiddle and fumble endlessly to determine how to - as we say in lamp-world - turn it on. All this effort as a way of avoiding the OVERHEAD LIGHT, which almost universally its Too Much Light.
The overlit room lets you see too clearly and is a quick and sure way to see YOURSELF too clearly, opening you up to intense self-scrutiny.
The SOUP OF LIGHT ensures we embrace the luxury of “not knowing”.
FOAM: A SOUPY LIGHT MATERIAL FEW HAVE EXPLORED, until…
ADDISON and EMMA have really captured the SOUP OF LIGHT spirit in what is one of the more thrilling additions to the New Stuff world, by essentially taking the thing that makes so much furniture super comfortable and making a LAMP that embodies the same SOFA-COMFORT.
Addison is, like, very skilled at TikTok and also very ultra knowledgeable of Designs Of The Past.
F/S: WHY FOAM?
A.B.: Using foam as the main material is speaking to a few things, one being that Emma & I simply have a crippling desire to do something that’s never been done before (haha).
On a “deeper” level we want to continue using materials like foam that are extremely important to design but never get to be seen in a way that exalts them.
F/S: BALANCING UNNEW STUFF AND NEW STUFF, GIVE US YOUR TAKE.
A.B.: As far as furnishings go, in my opinion, if I can place an iconic sofa next to a lounge chair made by an emerging designer and those pieces can exist fluidly in the same room then I don’t see why mixing old and new is any worry unless if on a design level they’re extremely uncomplimentary.
Our hope is that Soft Spot Lighting can be the type of lighting that exists seamlessly in any space.
F/S: YOU ARE BRINGING BACK A GREAT DESIGNER OF THE PAST. WHO?
A.B: God, if I could bring one designer back from the great beyond it would be an unknown one. I have this vintage Italian floor lamp that looks very similar to a few Scarpa for Flos designs but I’ve never seen another one before or have been able to ID it. I think it’s kind of amazing to make something so intricate and special but not put your name or any form of ID on it. They had to be someone special, ya know?
E.D.: I don’t like to focus on the past – we’re only moving forward. RIP to them though. On a more serious note, Virgil was a monumental loss. However, energy cannot be created or destroyed. I believe when someone influential passes their contributions live on forever, whether as references or motivation.
Soft Spot Lighting is set to launch June 2nd, the Fontanelle Lamp being the first available. (FOLLOW ADDISON FOR UPDATES. Also he’s a super duper source of fun other interiors things)
FINAL NOTE FROM ADDISON: “Emma designed all the branding and while working on it she discovered that at around six months a baby’s soft spot, also called the Fontanelle, is the same shape as our lamp. Which really made us feel like we were supposed to be making these together.”
GOING M.A.D. and,
“SOUP OF LIGHT”: A MENU
1 GOING M.A.D.: DEFINING A “SOUP OF LIGHT”
There are many ways to create soupiness. The cornerstones of the approach is to go M.A.D.: MANY And DIFFUSED. In other words, we’re talking multiple light sources and you’re probably not gonna want to eyeball a lightbulb.
2 A MENU
The many ways to soupiness can be illustrated by a few categories, which we’ve cleverly related to TYPES OF ACTUAL SOUP as a way to keep it all a bit playful.
Here we go…
The first category is “MATZO BALL”, expressed by a few but not like tons of big round balls, which provide the source for the most “filling” light, let’s say.
Here is an example from the 1970s home of architect GIANCARLO BICOCCHI, in Tuscany. Do you see matzo balls, too – or just us?:
To prove that “mazto ball” really can actually be, in the domestic sense, matzo cubes, here is another late-stage 70s image from an architect’s home. This time of LUIS BARRAGAN, in Mexio City:
Number 2 is another “something”-in-figurative-”broth-of-light”, as with Matzo Balls, and that is THE NOODLE.
An excellent quite cool-niche NOODLE lamp is the “BAOLUM”, 1969, by LIVIO CASTIGLIONI (who had excellent eyewear) and GIANFRANCO FRATTINI (who had perfect vision). Here in LONG and CRUMPLED positions:
A stew is quite simple a mixture of different bits, and like, we maybe are still hunting for the absolute perfect reference here, but we’ll make a case for CLAUDIO DINI’s Milan apartment (he’s another architect, yes - we’re having a thing for them this week).
It’s got a lot:
Height-adjustable above-table double-cones
A little sweetie table lamp
A kind of up-and-down, dare we say pseudo-noodle set of bookcase sconces
And, wouldn’t you know it, he designed most of this lighting – so you know he was into it.
For those Milan folks, Dini designed the Turati metro station, M3 line platform.
We haven’t really gone into “WHICH LAMPS”, because FFS, there are about 30 billion incredibly lamps, and this is about lighting and not so much lamps.
There is a special mention though, which goes to ISAMU NOGUCHI, and his “AKARI LIGHT SCULPTURES” – which are, drumroll please!: LAMPS! They are the soupiest.
Until next time. LOVE & GOOD LUCK,