Paola Navone

May 8, 2024

During Milan Design Week, Italian lighting brand Lodes presented Oblò, a collection of glass pendants designed by Paola Navone that take inspiration from the seaside.

Lodes’ latest collection, Oblò, is the inaugural collaboration with Otto Studio’s Paola Navone. Oblò presents an aesthetic departure from Lodes’ existing portfolio; it is both a high-performance pendant and a sculptural piece of design that presents themes of fluidity and water.

“Oblò is a delightful family of lamps that touches on the essence of the sea,” says Navone. “The glass diffuser, with its soft, rounded shapes, is suspended by a knotted cable, appearing to float in the air like a buoy. There’s a touch of surprise: the knotted cable houses an invisible LED source that illuminates the diffuser. Thus, only the glass is visible, akin to peering through a porthole. The diffuser comes in three different shapes and five finishes, three of which are hues reminiscent of the sea’s transparency. Where a single lamp serves as a playful focal point, a multitude of lamps make up a thousand different installations.

“Water is my natural element, the sea has a relaxing, almost hypnotic effect on me. It stirs feelings of delight, peace, fluidity, movement… and it always makes me wonder how to connect these elements within design.”

Oblò is a modest sized lamp that comes in three sizes and with an intense luminosity, which is diffused through the glass globe that is available in various finishes including: Silk White, Clear, Glossy Smoke, Iridescent, Azure Steel.

It features a hook, comprising a metal core coated with semi-transparent silicone. A white fabric cable, featuring a grey rubberised terminal, is tied to the hook, delicately supporting the diffuser. The knot and cable possess both aesthetic and functional significance: envisioned by the designer to resemble naval ropes knotted to sea buoys, infusing the product with a whimsical and playful spirit. Simultaneously, the fabric cable conceals the electric wiring, which, through the knot, threads into the hook, discreetly powering the LED. This gives the appearance of the Oblò floating like a buoy in the air.

Speaking of her collaboration with Lodes, Navone says: “There is a special alchemy behind each of our projects at Otto. It can come from meeting a person, a company, discovering a place or a beautiful tradition. This time we were enchanted and inspired by Lodes’ technical expertise and high-quality materials.

“We enjoyed recalling the simple, friendly, and universal shapes of buoys. Lodes’ expertise and technology made it possible to realise these forms using Pyrex, a highly evocative material, that was modelled and formed into soft, rounded shapes.

“The idea was to create a weightless, almost imperceptible bubble and the main challenge was to make the light source invisible. Using Lodes’ know how, we developed a hidden LED source inside the hook that lights the glass diffuser.

“The diffuser comes in three different shapes and five finishes – demonstrating the versatility of Pyrex glass in lighting design while simultaneously evoking images of the sea and the elements that float in the water. Additionally, the fabric cable conceals the electric wiring, which, through the knot, threads into the hook, mysteriously powering the LED.

“We really like the knotted cable that supports the lamp like a naval rope tied to a sea buoy, and at the same time powers the LED source that lights up the diffuser. It adds that element of surprise that is always present in our designs.”

Reflecting on the new collaboration, Lodes Managing Director Massimiliano Tosetto comments: “We are thrilled to collaborate with Paola Navone – Otto Studio on this new lamp, furthering Lodes’ portfolio to seamlessly integrate with a wide range of environments.  The flexibility inherent in Oblò, in terms of compositions and finishes, was vividly articulated by the designer through a stunning colourful installation during Milan Design Week, hosted at Lodes’ Milan showroom.”