HagenHinderdael – Bolla

January 21, 2021

Recently established design studio HagenHinderdael is the joint establishment of Sofia Hagen (pictured right) and Lisa Hinderdael (pictured left), both of an architectural background.

Pairing product design with art, HagenHinderdael pursue a design approach that explores the relationship of lighting and large-scale installations in immersive environments.

Combining the mediums glass, metal and fabric with lighting, the pair create statement pieces that aim to capture nature-inspired geographical shapes and organic forms.

Working closely with local artisans, the two merge their pre-existing knowledge of materials and product design along with cutting-edge technologies to produce elements and installations that push the boundaries of engineering while bearing the incentive of a continuous afterlife.

Using a process that follows a narrative of natural patterns and geometries, with the idea of bringing us closer to nature through design combined with innovative technology and material research, the duo have spotted a gap in the lighting industry market, highlighting a disconnect in transforming technological advancements into functional, decorative fixtures, and more importantly, eco-friendly design.

“If we can learn to research and work more collaboratively across the design process – merging our abilities as designers with the material knowledge and craftsmanship of local artisans – we will then capture the advancements we see in other technological sectors,” they explain.

“Whether this be through bar lights that charge our phones, emergency lighting with a design edge, or sustainable materials being used in new and innovative ways – the blending of techniques passed on through generations of family-run businesses and the lifecycle of our products needs to be as important as the design itself.”

Outlining their ethos, the two explain: “We are always thinking about the lifecycle of our products. From the sourcing down to the engineering, each product has a journey blending traditional craftsmanship, cutting edge technology and locally sourced sustainable materials.

“Wherever possible, light products are developed with the concept of a corresponding interactive installation at large scale. This approach translates products into components – creating a unique way for them to be re-used and distributed after installation. While establishing a micro-macro relationship of lighting and installation design, where lighting is the micro-intervention that provides the dialogue to change the macro-environment.

“We also believe that design has the responsibility to educate. Whether through challenging the norm or bringing a new enlightenment to an existing global issue: we are always looking to raise awareness.”

HagenHinderdael’s launch for their 2020/21 lighting collection includes the Bolla, Reef, Blade, Concave and Tatami products. Taking a closer look at Bolla, the two designers want to bring awareness to the escalated use of packaging materials that are affecting our environment and was designed in collaboration with Cemento UK for Milan Design Week’s Guiltless Plastic challenge.

“Landfills can’t cope with the quantities of plastic being deposited – some of it poisonous and most of it non-degradable. Pointing the way to a circular economy instead of designing things to fail, bubble wrap sourced from packaging waste is used as a formwork and transformed through parametric modelling and innovative research into the light product Bolla,” the studio explained.

“The concept began with material research into concrete and its ability to provide a backdrop for recycling plastic and packaging waste. Experimenting with sculptural forms that had never before been made in concrete, this research developed into a light sculpture that would be organic in form with a thin-walled exterior and hiding within it, a series of technological advancements in design. Manufactured with a CNC mould, and housing slimline OLED technology, Bolla captures the essence of ‘waste not, want not’ – creating an innovating and sustainable new light product.”

Hagen and Hinderdael worked with material scientists and Cemento UK, they developed a custom-aggregate in which recycled plastic particles are combined into a concrete mixture and poured into an organic mould. With the option to add various pigments to the aggregate, the Bolla product can be customised to suite any interior.

“Pushing the research further, Bolla’s requirement to be a light source led to additional material studies – investigating the porosity of the concrete shell as a means to spread light. The light output was to achieve a striking, effervescent glow coming from within the concrete. With an integrated OLED source and using a script inspired by the very piece of packaging from which our design process began, we developed a perforated pattern that would capture the texture of bubble wrap and disperse a uniform light across Bolla.

“Our material research and process pushed us to an end product that is not only eco-friendly, but fully degradable – such as if it breaks, it can be sent back to our manufacturers where the concrete shell will be ground down and reused for a new light production. This allows Bolla to avoid its materials ending up back in a landfill – and brings our narrative full circle with the HagenHinderdael ethos of a continuous afterlife. Allowing for each light to be produced at a low impact yet giving it a unique bespoke character through the nature of the materials used.”

Bolla’s first prototype is available as a floor lamp, standing at 700mm high, with the possibility to be evolved into a pendant or wall light.

Bolla was the winner of the LAMP Awards 2020, in partnership with designmilk, in the people’s choice category.