3. 8. 2020
Fractal is Preciosa’s newest chandelier. Designed by Austrian designer Thomas Feichtner, the Fractal family features an industrial aesthetic inspired by nature. Fractal joins the Preciosa Collections portfolio as a New Interpretation of our historic Louis chandelier.
Extra large Fractal in crystal and gold
Tell me about Fractal. What was your inspiration and why did you choose this style?
“Apart from the fact that the fractal occurs almost everywhere in nature, be it in the branching, the root system of a tree or the structure of the leaves, it can also be found in its basic features in many historical crystal chandeliers. Even in the top view of chandeliers one finds structures that branch out like snow crystals. The distribution of light is about creating volume. Seen in this way, Fractal is a new interpretation of a proven principle. A structural scattering of light.”
Thomas Feichtner and Preciosa Creative Director Michael Vasku reviewing sketches.
How did you feel when you saw your finished light?
“Great, I'm very pleased. You immediately recognize the modular design, which is not at all reduced to just a few combinations. You can also use it to create elongated snakes and even much larger light clouds, for example for a very high staircase or a long corridor.”
Beautiful materials lead to inspiring lighting
When you started thinking about Fractal, what role did the glass play in your initial inspiration?
“From the very beginning, the historical crystal chandelier has been in the foreground. Not its form but its purpose, its function. In the history of crystal chandeliers, the aim has always been to spread the light in the best way possible. Glass was the best material for this. But exactly this diffusion - with all the possibilities of modern technology - was the most important aspect for me when designing Fractal.
Austrian designer Thomas Feichtner
What do you appreciate the most when working with glass?
“Glass is certainly one of the most sustainable and impressive materials in all its aggregates. It can be smooth, fine and delicate, it plays with light, directs it, splits it into its spectrum and reflects it. Glass is both refined and poetic.”
“I have great respect for people who work with glass. It takes a lot of experience to handle it with confidence. In design and production it is important not to work against the material but always with the material.”
Fractal's hand cut plates add a unique touch to the chandelier
Are there any recent lighting trends you find interesting or are excited about?
“Over the past century, the light bulb has been the dominant illuminant. Its form and function was prevalent in all lighting designs. Since light can be produced in different ways today, there are hardly any restrictions to the design of luminaires. This makes designing lights particularly exciting.”
Fractal cluster in crystal and black
What is your design process?
“For me design is the search for alternatives and an attitude towards life. Design is the identity of things. It should be surprising and clever, full of esprit, finesse, intelligence, and charm. And I love to sketch. Just the concept at first, sometimes an idea of how something could be produced.”
What do art, craft and craftsmanship mean to you in the 21st century?
“I think craftsmanship is more relevant than ever. The difference between craftsmanship and industry is not the number of pieces or the use of machines but how work is shared. In industry, thinking and doing are often far apart and production is outsourced to low-wage countries. In craftsmanship, the thinking and doing is usually concentrated on one person or a local group. This makes craftsmanship more interesting for many products and also more agile because of the smaller structures. I do not understand craft in a nostalgic sense but as a chance for alternatives. Craft is something contemporary and innovative. Always has been.”
Medium fractal in crystal and black
Can you tell me about your experience working with Preciosa Lighting?
“I am very fascinated by the way Preciosa experiments with light and glass. You can see how the company is aware of its historical roots but at the same time very visionary about the future. Preciosa's installations are especially breathtaking. Computer generated interactions create new experiences between humans and light.”
Fractal is handmade by master craftsmen at Preciosa's factory in the Czech Republic
Thomas Feichtner is an internationally established product designer whose work is positioned midway between industry and handicrafts, mass production and one-of-a-kinds. He studied industrial design at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz. His work has been honoured with various international awards and has been presented at international exhibitions including the Triennale di Milano, the International Biennial of Design in Saint Etienne and MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art in Vienna. Thomas is currently the Head of Institute of the Bachelor and Master Program Industrial Design at the Joanneum in Graz. He lives in Austria.