Ray Power was born in Ireland in 1975 and graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology in 1997, before moving to Spain. He has collaborated with LZF Lamps since 1998. An award-winning designer, Power’s Air, Escape, Link, New Wave, Swirl and Lola lamps for LZF have each received design accolades. Sushi, Ray’s design for LZF in 2022, has been a versatile lamp that combines colours with a clear zen inspiration. Power’s latest creations for LZF are Kactos and Tiny.
With its cactus-like silhouette, the tactile, nature-inspired Kactos is available in both suspension and table versions. To create the shape, wood veneer panels are arranged in a vertical concave fashion around the light source and held in place by an acrylic frame. As a result, each piece of veneer beautifully reflects the light from within this pleasing lamp.
Made with just a single strip of wood veneer, wrapped twice around the light source, the happy-go-lucky Tiny has an instantly recognisable form. In Tiny, the warmth of the natural wood veneer contrasts with the cold metal of its structure and handy handle, which allows us to place it wherever it’s needed.
You have designed a number of lamps for LZF. How do you approach new lighting designs? Do you worry about any repetition in your work?
The first step for me is just searching and searching until I come upon a good idea. After that it depends on what that good idea is but most of the process turns out to be the usual stuff: drawing, models and prototypes. But most importantly, when designing a lamp for LZF I need to be experimenting with the Timberlite.
Kactos and Tiny are two new distinct lighting concepts for LZF. Can you say more about their design and inspiration?
Kactos is a new take on an idea I had some years ago using an acrylic structure and Timberlite diffusors. The old idea had the diffusors set as convex curves around the light and now Kactos has concave diffusors and the lines and rounded corners of the acrylic structure give it some really nice playful edges.
Tiny is a no frills but very cute little table lamp thats made from a single piece of the LZF timberlite veneer. The whole lamp, base included, lights up to give you a warm, glowing light to place anywhere that needs an extra bit of accent lighting: hallway table, dresser, bookshelf, bedside table etc
Ireland is not necessarily a country synonymous with design (though certainly with craft). I wonder how your Irish heritage influences your thinking on design (if at all)?
I like to make the models and prototypes myself. You could say that part of the design process has a common ground with craft. And the LZF production is also very much a handmade process. I’m grateful for my irish heritage of course, but I’m obsessed with plane and solid geometry most of the time and I think that’s where I’m drawing my influences from; excuse the pun.
Now that I think of it, if I hadn’t got accepted into design in Dublin the year I did my next choice was to go to a craft school in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny. I would of had very different influences and who knows where I would be now.
Where does your inspiration come from—are there particular design genres or people?
I don’t think genres or other designers while working through my designs. I sometimes don’t even consider myself the creative one but that the ideas are there somewhere in a sort of geometrical encyclopedia of the universe and I just happen upon them and become the guardian of the idea and its my responsibility to see them through to a resolved state. So yeah, theres that and then the design will also need to meet with current trends. Thats not my forte but I do what I can.
As a designer, what are you still curious about?
Ray Power talks about his feelings about the LZF wood veneer