Kartell enlists US creatives to reimagine its 'Bourgie' table lamp

Snarkitecture's interpretation of the Bourgie
(Image credit: Press)

Earlier this year, Kartell celebrated one of its most iconic pieces - Ferruccio Laviani's Bourgie lamp - with an exhibition of fourteen reinterpretations by a roster of international designers. This month the project has been expanded further, with the Bourgie being handed over to a group of American creatives, the results on display at the Greene Street showroom until 26 May - coinciding with New York Design Week - presenting a further exploration of the lamp's design and a tribute to its execution. It completes a big month for the brand, which has also just unveiled a re-designed and enhanced website (opens in new tab), including for the first time an extensive e-store. Acting as an exploratory hub, the site allows users to delve deeper into the brand's history, to browse products and to access information about new projects and ventures. They can also admire other icons from Kartell's past, in addition to the legendary Bourgie.

Installation of neon and mirror that multiplies the shape to infinity


(Image credit: Press)

Rafael de Cardenas' starting point was Ferruccio Laviani's transformation of a Baroque shape into a distilled design. Similarly, the New York-based designer further simplified the Bourgie, using its silhouette to create an installation of neon and mirror that multiplies the shape to infinity

The lamp's stand with a human arm holding the bulbs


(Image credit: Press)

Former Wallpaper* Design Awards judge Pharrell Williams applied his artistic versatility to the project, substituting the lamp's stand with a human arm holding the bulbs. According to the Williams, it 'represents the will of mankind in the daily plight of escaping the "shade" and the challenges of attempting to get closer to enlightenment.'

The lampshade in strings of cord


(Image credit: Kelly Wearstler)

Kelly Wearstler's take on the Bourgie is a perfect marriage between Laviani's design and the American interior designer's aesthetic. Dissecting the object's base, Wearstler re-created it using her signature materials - a mix of stones and metal - covering the lampshade in strings of cord

Transforming the dunce hat into a disco hat


(Image credit: Eli Sudbrack)

Brazilian-born, New York-based artist Eli Sudbrack (aka Assume Vivid Astro Focus) gave a multi-level interpretation of the lamp, starting with a disco lamp idea and then developing its shade it to resemble a dunce hat. The artist wanted to 'turn something usually seen as negative bullying into a positive action, by transforming the dunce hat into a disco hat.'

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.