flos blooms with patricia urquiola's lighting system 'almendra'

flos blooms with patricia urquiola's lighting system 'almendra'

patricia urquiola branches out with ‘almendra’ for flos

 

As delicate as a tree branch, Almendra by Patricia Urquiola blooms for Flos. Meaning ‘almond’ in Spanish, the lighting system grows into the designer’s vision as a module that embodies the union between nature and mechanics. Like a metaphor to the fruit, from which its name derives, the suspended product is characterized by its two shells that act as diffusers, attached directly to its branch-like structure. The organic yet minimal functional composition of the light evokes an atmosphere of domestic warmth as it floats over the room.

flos blooms with patricia urquiola's lighting system 'almendra'
Patricia Urquiola designs the Almendra lighting system for Flos | images © Tommaso Sartori

all images courtesy of FLOS

 

 

Founded in Merano, Italy in 1962, Flos is recognized as a leading international-level manufacturer of top-end designer and innovative lighting systems for residential, hospitality, and commercial projects. For 2022, Patricia Urquiola branches out the brand’s collections with Almendra. Inspired by the almond, which is where the product got its Spanish name, the design is modular, customizable and extensible, adapted for contract environments that have captured the contemporary living and hospitality needs.

 

 

‘The almond (almendra in Spanish) is an organism: a seed, a sort of oval container that opens to release the fruit. For Flos I thought of a suspended module inspired by this small shell when it is open: a natural presence that is also mechanical, simple and poetic,’ says the designer, Patricia Urquiola.

flos blooms with patricia urquiola's lighting system 'almendra'
meaning almond in Spanish, the lighting system is characterized by its two shells that act as light diffusers

 

 

Technology is most valuable when it is invisible

 

The idea was to create a lighting system that provides a functional, efficient, but at the same time gentle and soft light: an extremely comfortable emission, ‘like the one that caresses the leaves of a tree outside the window of one’s home,’ explains the designer. Almendra unfolds with two shells connected by a central pin, and its simplicity hides a refined technology. As the thickness of the shell is very small, the light that comes out from the centrally positioned LED source spreads evenly along the side petals. Thanks to the guide system Edge Lighting technology, the result is a total lighting comfort that can be increased by the possibility of positioning the shells upwards or downwards, even in the same fixture, and thus obtaining different types of emission from the same system.

flos blooms with patricia urquiola's lighting system 'almendra'
the shells can be positioned upwards or downwards, even in the same fixture, granting different types of light from the same system

 

 

The module allows both linear compositions, ideal for illuminating large tables, as well as curved, organic forms; both designed to suspend as if floating. To add versatility to the dynamic character, the object can be set to obtain a series of solutions with 3, 4 or 6 lights, which can be positioned downwards or upwards. 

 

‘The module can be composed in various ways: it attaches directly to the branch, like an almond, it can be assembled to compose various elements, vertical or horizontal; another possibility is that it winds into two or three other branches, creating a very light composition in the space,’ continues the designer.

 

almendra-flos-designboom-fullwidth

thanks to a LED source, the light is diffused and comes out evenly to occupy the entire open surface

 

almendra’s Colors derived from nature

 

Design curators of Flos, Fabio Calvi and Paolo Brambilla, asked Patricia Urquiola to go for a color palette based on her personality – an approach that the brand has been planning since 2019. The end result is a selection of shades derived directly from the object that inspired the luminaire: the almond. Metallic green mixed with blue for the tree, off-white for the flowers, and ocher for the branches and shells. Metallic lilac, on the other hand, is the ‘bravest’ choice of the palette, a color that the Spanish designer particularly loves and that she feels is representative of her aesthetics, while anthracite is the variant of the classic black that does not actually exist in nature.

 

 

‘Starting from the color of the tree, I proposed a green mixed with a blue sky, in a metallic version that tells of the union between nature and technology (Bay Blue). Continuing with this thought, we chose two other colors of alborean inspiration: from the white (off-white) of the flowers, to the ocher of the branches and shells (with a hue that tends to orange),’ explains the designer.

flos blooms with patricia urquiola's lighting system 'almendra'
Almendra allows both linear and organic compositions depending on the type of space

 

 

flos sheds light on the environmental impact

 

The module was created as to reduce the environmental impact to a minimum, in line with Flos’ constant effort towards sustainable production. The choice of materials and the design contribute to this effort. 

 

Almendra is made with a polycarbonate derived from a by-product of paper production, more commonly known as pine oil. The liquid escapes naturally during the process of extracting cellulose from wood, and has been used for years for the production of inks. In other words, the product comes from renewable resources that fall under the concept of circular economy as it is never wasted, but rather always recycled.  

flos blooms with patricia urquiola's lighting system 'almendra'
the product is made with a polycarbonate derived from a by-product of paper production, also known as pine oil

 

 

In terms of design, its entire life cycle, from the origin of the materials to their disposal, is defined according to the strict criteria established by the ISO standards on Life Cycle Assessment. No glue is involved in its making as all parts are joined by screws, which remain visible. For this reason, it makes it very easy to replace the LEDs through the Flos after-sales service in the event that malfunctions occur. Secondly, Almendra can be disassembled and each part can be recycled correctly depending on the material it is made of. To facilitate correct disposal, the indications with the recycling class have been engraved on the aluminum body and polycarbonate petals.

flos blooms with patricia urquiola's lighting system 'almendra'
the design does not include any glued parts but only screws, making recycling 100% possible

 

 

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project info:

 

name: Almendra

brand: Flos /@flos

designer: Patricia Urquiola /@patricia_urquiola

materials: Sustainable polycarbonate, aluminum

finishes: Off-White, Nude, Ocher, Anthracite, Bay Blue Metallized, Lilac Metallized

photography: Tommaso Sartori /@tommasosartori_studio

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