Black Is The New Black

by Anton D. Javier
Photos courtesy of Louis Poulsen
13 Sep 2018

Louis Poulsen reveals the latest iteration of the Enigma lamp in black

In 2003, a modern icon for Louis Poulsen was born — the Enigma lamp, which was envisioned by Japanese designer Shoichi Uchiyama. The unique lamp was a deconstructed version of the traditional chandelier, which saw slim layers of concentric layers strung together, resulting in a modern and minimalist masterpiece. With its simplicity, original form, as well as unique shaping of light, the Enigma became an instant hit among discerning and design-savvy homeowners.

The lamp, which was initially released in white, is now complemented with a sexy and stylish black counterpart. As in fashion, the new black version that comes in three sizes, complements a variety of spaces, surfaces, and surroundings. Whether it’s in entryways, hallways, and living areas, or above dining room tables, kitchen bars, and islands, the Enigma makes for a great statement piece that anchors the area it’s installed in.

According to Mr. Uchiyama, the black Enigma “will fit well in subdued or white interior spaces, with a unique appeal different from the original, frosted version.” As for the original version, the designer wants people to feel various aspects of beauty from the floating and expressive shades, because it looks different depending on where and when it’s used or even the angle from which it’s seen. That said, the Enigma proves it is more than just a decorative item, but instead, an expression of style.

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On a more technical level, Mr. Uchiyama explains how he created the ideal distribution of light in what is essentially a transparent form. He says, “Enigma uses a matte-finished acrylic – a new, completely glare-free material – to create ideal light distribution, where light is given in a downward direction, and reflections from the shades diffuse in an upward and horizontal direction as well.” Meanwhile, the use of thin wires to hold the components together gives the shades the appearance of floating in air.

In coming up with the Enigma pendant lamp, Mr. Uchiyama reveals that it adheres to the contrasts rooted in Louis Poulsen’s lighting philosophy, which follows Mr. Poul Henningsen’s view on the dualities of lighting design. These dualities include modernity and classicism, simplicity and complexity, tradition and innovation, as well as darkness and light.

Finally, Mr. Uchiyama shares, “[Mr.] Poul Henningsen sought to create the best, the most comfortable and the most functional lighting. I had exactly the same foundation for lighting, and developed my own interpretation about light in empathy with him. This meant creating a new use of a light source and a unique way to control the light. The fixture has new features and functional shades. The rays from the light source accurately hit each of the shades, and no glaring light is seen from any angle.”

With the Enigma lamp's innovative approach to aesthetics and function, lighting up a space is more than just a necessity. It is now an illuminated experience that enlivens and humanizes any environment.

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