Dec 26, 2023

A lamp for Millennials: Philippe Malouin’s debut for Flos

At Euroluce 2023, Flos unveils ‘Bilboquet’ by Philippe Malouin, a new table lamp that marks the London-based designer's debut with the lighting brand

At Euroluce 2023, Flos unveils ‘Bilboquet’ by Philippe Malouin, a new table lamp that marks the London-based designer's debut with the lighting brand. The lamp is conceived as a multifunctional lighting tool for the modern home, and its design comes from Malouin's own experimentations as well as Flos’ thorough development process.

Malouin's work often comes from experimenting with materials and mechanical parts, a process that starts with an abstract object and results in well-considered industrial designs. The concept for ‘Bilboquet’ emerged from Malouin playing around with magnetic elements, a process that resulted in the final, dynamic design.

The lamp's form and function is characterised by two coloured cylinders connected through a sleek magnetic sphere, a connector that allows the lamp to be oriented to direct the light as required while also serving as a poetic decorative element defining the design. Furthering the lamp's transformative abilities, the base cylinder can also be used to hold the cable in place, locking into a loop shape to one side.

The design takes its name from the bilboquet, a French game from the 16th century consisting of popping a ball tied to a stick, then catching it with the concave plate at the other end of the stick itself.

‘The design is about changing your lighting needs throughout the day,’ says Malouin. ‘It can be used as a desk lamp, but if you have guests and just want to have drinks in your living room, you can bounce the light off of the wall to create a soft glow, or up on the ceiling. You can mount it on a wall and direct it to a book. I have always admired "Parentesi" by Castiglioni and the lamp's way to change the light to achieve different moods – and this is very much what this light does. I’ve designed it thinking of the lifestyle of people my age, Millennials and Gen Z.’

Francesco Rodrigues and Andrea Gregis from Flos’ R&D department contributed to bringing this synthesis of form and function to life. ‘There was a lot of development required to make it work; from the actual size of the ball to the neodymium magnet to have the right amount of tension, and then the right amount of magnetism.’ continues Malouin. ‘All of these things appear extremely easy to solve, but they are actually the result of extraordinary advancement by the r&d development team at Flos.’ Some of the lamp's design details are the result of this process, such as the ridged texture of the bioplastic base and head connecting via the magnet, which comes from concealing the marks after removing it from the mould.

Malouin's modern approach to lighting design is enhanced by the fresh colour palette of sage, tomato and linen that contribute to the design's expressive aesthetic.

Bilboquet by Philippe Malouin for Flos is available from autumn 2023

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.

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