Flat light Flat light




Flat Light is a lighting solution in which flat light elements are utilized in order to create an even and gentle light. The innovation is not technical, but is the novel adaptation of the principle used in flat LCD screens. The amount of energy needed is very small compared to the amount of light created. The Flat Light is mainly intended for use outside the office. The main feature of this vertical light fixture is a thin sheet of glass or plastic. The concept can be comprehended by imagining a window through which the light shines in. The thin and almost weightless fixture can be moved around with ease. The light is switched on and off by touching the surface.

Light is an important element for Suppanen in design as well as in architecture.Studies of daylight and experiments on artificial light are both equally interesting for him. The most recent addition to his lamp designs is the Lokki series for the Italian company Lucente. In his recent design for the weekend cottage Villa Ilo, the building and its windows are designed tofollow the sun’s path and the rhythm of the day. Light activates the pineal gland to secrete the hormone called melatonin. However, the psychological significance of light is more prominent than the physical; just an illusion of ample illumination is enough to invigorate the psyche. A poorly lit white room feels lighter than a properly illuminated black room.

The Flat Light is yet another concept that follows the flow of Suppanen’s design ideology. His commitment to tackle the challenges of today's life and work leads him constantly to experiment in new ideas, materials and techniques. This encourages him to look beyond conventional forms. For him designing is about finding new ways to meet the users´ needs and desires. That is why Ilkka Suppanen is interested in the psychological aspects of human mind. He has explored closely such areas as nomad life and gravity which has led him to launch original techniquesand products like the Airbag for Snowcrash - a lightweight seat that uses the technical knowledge and materials developed for the sports - or the Flying Carpet - a demountable couch for Cappellini. In general Suppanen’s creations could be described lightweight and sometimes somewhat flat; often they are made of textile-based materials. Ilkka Suppanen thinks that structures play an important part in acting as an ecological statement if they reduce the use of natural resources. Consequently this also reduces financial pressure. Moreover, all material requirements decrease exponentially.

Suppanen has studied both architecture and design. In 1998 Ettore Sottsass nominated him for the Dedalus prize for young European Designers. His designs have been displayed in several exhibitions worldwide. Studio Suppanen is a Helsinki-based design office, established in 1995, which focuses on graphics, 3D design and architecture. The flexible approach and comprehensive skills form a solid basis to the projects. The studio frequently develops concepts for clients like Nokia, Haworth and Saab. Ilkka Suppanen aspires to be at the cutting edge of material research. The studio is on constant lookout for original materials and techniques. It creates materials and initiates new applications, as well.

Summary in Finnish