The second episode of “Pot-pettas, when Switzerland meets Spain” is out! Did you miss us? For this second article we’ve chosen to talk about lighting design, interviewing two creative collectives: 2mol Leuchten by Georg Lanter and Andi Wüthrich and Woodamp by Jesica Valenzuela Cobo and Francisco Espinosa Espinosa. As you are going to read 2mol Leuchten is a Swiss duo from St. Gallen who is focused on recycling lighting design, they create charming lamps using depleted coffee capsules. As for Woodamp, following their passion for wood, they started to create decorative wood lamps (and home objects) with simple design and energetic colors.
Let us them speak!
1. Let’s talk about you: a few words about your story, education and your professional path. How and when did you meet?
Georg und Andi: our story is a little bit special. We have any professional design background. When we started to create our first lamps in 2011 we were just well-motivated and we wanted to feed our creative side. 2mol Leuchten started as a “capsule project” with the aim to create our own sustainable design products.
Jesica and Francisco: I am (Jesica) a graphic designer and I was born in Barcelona, while Francisco comes from Granada. He studied audiovisuals, and we finally met attending the same photography class in Granada. We’re actually partners both in our working and private life: it came easily, we’re both interested in art and design, and thanks to the creative spirit, really strong in Barcelona, we decided to start this new project, Woodamp, about two years ago, but the brand was created only 8 months ago.
2. Where did you find the inspiration for your lamps? What was your starting point?
Georg and Andi: our starting point was the rubbish. People produce a lot of garbage which is most of the times still useful to produce something new. Used coffee capsules and small metallic circle rings are the main ingredients of our objects. When you put together all this coloured coffee capsules you obtain aesthetically pleasing lampshades which spread fascinating rays of light. Our lamps are environmentally sustainable and social produced products.
Jesica and Francisco: we can find inspiration in everything around us, you just have to wake up and open your eyes! We’re used to start sketching on a notepad all that comes to our attention, we work on it, focusing on the most interesting aspects, lines, ideas, and then, right to the workshop to develop a prototype.
We think that wood is beautiful in and of itself, and we decided to handle with this material because it’s a way to introduce nature in the everyday life.
3. Could you tell us how the production process works? Do you produce your lamps with your own hands or with the help of specialized people?
Georg and Andi: together with relatives and friends we collect depleted nespresso caspules bringing them to the Obvita factory in St. Gallen. There people clean and press capsules upgrading them to the lampshade you can see in the article pictures. Everything is handmade and for the most part the work is curated by disabled people. That is why our project is social sustainable. Regarding the second question at the beginning we did everything by ourself. At a later stage we wanted to involve disabled people in order to help them to develop their working skills.
Jesica and Francisco: we produce all our pieces in a completely artisan way, along the whole process, from the selection of the materials to the electric set of the production process. We found an appropriate space for the workshop in our house, where we placed a special equipment that we adjusted to our needs, and that’s also for this reason that our pieces are one and only.
4. What are current trends in recycling design?
Georg and Andi: people are starting to be more and more interested in what is behind the products. We think that they are starting to be more careful about ecological and social features of the products they are going to buy.
5. You’re back to simple and traditional production methods and materials, how did you decide that?
Jesica and Francisco: when we worked with audiovisual we spent so many hours in front of the computer, and in our spare time, as a relaxing therapy, we used to restore objects and pieces of furniture we found around. We realized we loved working with our own hands, having a direct contact with the material, so we started to create our pieces just like this, handmade.
6. Tell us something funny happened during the very beginning of your fascinating project, a sort of “behind the scene”.
Georg and Andi: we are really not experts in electricity matters. At the beginning of our production we often shutdown the lightning of our apartments just above our working space. So that we decided to cooperate with partners who are in charge of the electricity segment of the production process.
Jesica and Francisco: we could tell a lot of funny stories, but what makes us surprising right now is when we go to visit our suppliers: they’re used to sell huge amount of wood to their clients, so they can’t understand the simple fact that we want to select one by one the wood logs, those special ones that draw our attention for color and forms. So they still look at us like weird persons wandering in search for a log whispering magic words.
7. Where we can find your creations? Are you planning to take part in design fairs or events?
Georg and Andi: of course we have an online shop on our official website. Our creations are on sale at Globus and Ruf Design in St. Gallen and we also provide with our lamps the restaurant Lagerhaus which is located in St. Gallen too. If you would like to come and visit us we will be at Designgut Fair in Winterthur from 31 October to 2 Novembre 2014.
Jesica and Francisco: first of all you can find all our creations on our webpage. So far our pieces are on sale in Barcelona, at Nuovum Concept Store, Trait Store, and Caravan, and also in Madrid at Olula-la, and Cubo Gallery & Shop. We have so many projects in progress: in May we took part to Mercado Central de Diseño in Madrid, and we’re going to schedule more international design fairs.
We’re also working on a collaboration with such amazing artists like Miguel Leal, Cane, Sanz i Vila, Albert Arrayás, Mr. Estrada, Lantomo, Frederick García, Félix Roca, Javier Rubín, Raúl del Sol, Laura Agustí, Ral, Gori Mora y Kyle Briant. Each one will “operate” on our Frustrum model with his/her own style, and all these resulting pieces will be exhibited in a group show on December form 5 to 7 at Galería Artevistas in Barcelona.
Photo credits: Woodamp, Núria Serra and 2mol Leuchten