Cascata | Q&A With Creative Director Clare Turner
Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?
I am constantly seeking places where exceptional design is showcased and celebrated. Europe has always been central to our story for inspiration. Cities like Milan, Florence, Antwerp and Paris are known for their rich history in art and design, and they continue to inspire me with their stunning architecture, museums, and galleries.
Milan, in particular, is a hub for contemporary design, with its annual Salone del Mobile exhibition presenting the most cutting-edge furniture and lighting. The city's eclectic mix of modern and traditional architecture, and creative use of materials and shapes, also provides endless opportunities to appreciate innovative design.
What are the three words that sum up your approach to design?
Materiality, timeless, understated.
Where do you find inspiration for your lighting designs?
There are three main areas I draw on for inspiration – materials and process, architecture, and nature.
We work with a range of materials from hand-blown glass and brass to natural stone and fabric. Each material has its own unique properties and characteristics, and I enjoy experimenting with these in different combinations to create truly original designs. The artistry and artisanal skill required to manipulate and sculpt these materials is also something that I’ve always been deeply interested in.
Architecture from the early to mid-20th century also provides a wealth of inspiration. This period of architecture was marked by a focus on function, simplicity, and clean lines, which are all values that we strive to embody in our lighting designs.
A growing source of inspiration for me is nature. I find the shapes, textures and colours of the natural world fascinating and love how these are in continuous flux and change – a truly endless source of inspiration. With the ever-increasing urbanisation, I also think it’s hugely important to keep ties with nature, as this as a grounding and calming influence.
What was the inspiration behind the new Cascata Chandelier?
We started with the glass. We wanted to create glass that had some movement to mimic nature such as waterfalls and rivulets. Most of the experimentation was around creating the undulations and achieving the correct opacity to result in a diffused light. We did many mock-ups to get the best lighting effect in relation to the glass, and to ensure the perfect form.
Simultaneously, we developed a metal frame that was minimal and that allowed the glass to be the hero. The graphic nature of the metalwork was designed to be interesting from both above and below. The triangular void in the centre of this frame is particularly interesting when viewed from above, thereby making it a great piece for a stairwell.
The end use of Cascata was central to our thinking, and throughout the process the light was always conceived within an interior context; this is how we developed the form. Although the profile of Cascata is linear, the overall shape and view is circular, making it well suited to rectangular and round dining tables alike. We wanted to create a showstopper that was both innovative and versatile, and I think we’ve succeeded in this.
What three words sum up the aesthetic of the Cascata Chandelier?
Ethereal, fluidity, geometry.
How does the lighting design of the Cascata Chandelier impact the overall ambiance of a room?
Cascata was designed to provide a stunning, dynamic illumination that would enhance any space. This chandelier features layers of artisanal glass panels that are arranged in an organic, cascading pattern, allowing the light to reflect and refract. We wanted glass to be the hero material as this has a wonderful capacity to diffuse light. This is why Cascata is particularly effective at adding depth and dimension to a room, while also creating a warm, welcoming ambience.