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Inspired by stars. The new “Huara” lamp designed by Elemental for Artemide

By FEDERICA LUSIARDI - May 10, 2018

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Huara means “star” in the Aymaran language. The Aymara people live in Bolivia and Peru in the Acatama desert, widely considered one of the areas with the darkest skies in the world and where you can see more stars than anywhere else on earth.

Cover image: close-up view of the Huara lamp on show at the Milan Design Week 2018; photo © Inexhibit


A fascinating peculiarity that inspired Elemental ‘s partners – Pritker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena, Gonzalo Arteaga, Juan Cerda, Victor Oddó, and Diego Torres – in designing a new lamp for Artemide, a prototype of which was recently unveiled during the 2018 Milan Design Week.
Coherently with its main source of inspiration, a star, the shape of Huara approximates that of a sphere.
Combining mankind’s long standing fascination with starlight with cutting-edge technology, Huara is a mysterious polyhedron whose faces light up, activated by touch, thus revealing its complex, regular geometry.

As Elemental says: “The appearance of electrical power at the turn of the last century started a technological development that irrespective of the scientific principle employed to produce light (incandescent, fluorescent or metal halides), made any other source of energy almost disappear. The next step in the production of light came with the development of Light Emitting Diodes (LED). For the first time, light shifted from the electrical realm to the field of electronics. But for some reason such revolutionary step has not permeated society; people look for lights and lamps in the white goods section, not in the electronics section. Our project for Artemide is about integrating the first and the last moment in the history of light: celestial spheres with electronics. On the one hand we want light to vary its intensity and direction according to phases more than moving pieces of a mechanism. On the other hand, we want to acknowledge the fact that the future of light is electronic, not electric. The distinctive potential of electronics is its capacity to carry information that allow for multiple ways of interaction, such as a tactile screen.”

What is most interesting with Huara is the multiple ways it can be used, as well as the natural and simple gestures required to turn it on and off. Since it has neither a base nor a predefined orientation, the lamp can be freely positioned and rotated; it is both a luminous and a lighting object whose light can be directed towards a wall or an horizontal plane. Made in plastic and aluminum, the Huara lamp is 30 cm / 12 inches in diameter and features nineteen LEDs.

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Huara lamp by Elemental for Artemide; photos © Inexhibit

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Images, courtesy of Artemide, which show the polyhedric geometry of the lamp (similar to that of a deltahedron) and how its touch dimmer system works

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A sequence of graphic panels and photographs illustrating concept, principles, and use of the lamp; photos © Inexhibit  

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Photos © Inexhibit  




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