Qbini: architectural lighting with a signature
Our Qbini spot family was a hit as soon as it was launched in early 2017. But what values, processes and inspirations led to the creation of this distinctive luminaire for residential and hospitality spaces? We caught up with Florent Coirier, designer of Qbini, to uncover the details
As a designer, Florent seeks the purest, most unalloyed distillation of an object: “When I create something, I want to avoid complexity. Every new aspect that I add to a design is carefully calculated to enhance its functionality. I strive to express the essential essence of an object that speaks to each of us. Qbini is the result of these goals in action.”
Form, function and familiarity
Florent first worked with Modular when he designed Spektra, our first spot equipped with a zoom lens. The Qbini family is his newest collaboration with Modular. The product was created through an iterative process that started out with a winning bright idea.
Back in 2016, Modular approached several designers with a request for a recessed, square spot that is capable of both blending in and standing out. Inspired, Florent sat down in his Montmartre studio and drew many designs before hitting on one that he felt met every single need with beauty and minimalism: a tiny, cubic spot that comes in three square shapes and three round shapes.
“My final design was influenced by the most basic geometry: I wanted to start with the elementary shapes of the circle and square, and building blocks were my inspiration for the in/out options. These shapes might be simple, but they are fundamental for all of us.”
Having already worked closely with Modular in the past, Florent was familiar with the company’s desire to bring innovative ideas and eye-catching options to the market. “So, I was pretty confident that they’d appreciate it,” he laughs.
A continuous conversation
He was right – Modular was enthusiastic about his streamlined and versatile design. A collaborative dialogue was kicked off, and Florent drew the original designs for Qbini. 3D rendering quickly followed, and then physical 3D prototyping. At the same time, the Modular team developed Qbini’s patent-pending installation system, which enables each lamp to be positioned flush or deep recessed at the press of a finger.
“We went back and forth,” he continues, “ensuring that the design and the technology were in perfect harmony. This approach required a constant conversation between myself and Modular, because they had to evolve at the same time.”
Tiny, recessed and versatile
What is it that makes Qbini, the result of all these efforts, so special? Florent: “When I designed Qbini, LED technology had evolved to a point where it could work in a very small luminaire. So, its compact size is one of the things that makes Qbini unique. Added to that, Qbini gives architects plenty of inspiration to play with colour, shape, position and number of lamps in residential and hospitality projects. In short: Qbini combines choice, modularity and the highest-quality light.”
A bright future - literally
Currently, Florent continues to work closely with Modular to design new additions to the Qbini family. Earlier this summer, Modular launched an adjustable version, which also comes in black and white and can be installed in frames of one to four lamps – just like the original shapes.
“There are many beautiful evolutions coming up,” he says. “It’s not always simple to strike the perfect balance between design and strategy, and the available technology isn’t always ready for what I have in mind, but we have many exciting things in store.”
“We’re taking Qbini to the next level,” he asserts.