February 23, 2018

BOLD. Making an understated statement

Bold is a wall fixture, or better said, a wall feature. It is design with real personality. 

Its architectural form is both outspoken or understated, depending entirely on the interior or exterior around it. In white or black, horizontal or vertical, Bold respects and inspires the creativity of the architect and interior designer.  It’s not just a source of light, it’s about achieving the light effect without necessarily seeing the light. 

Jaap Huijgen from Studio KEES (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) shares his thoughts about Bold and the first creative collaboration with Modular Lighting Instruments.

Jaap Huijgen founded Studio KEES with his partner Odin Visser nine years ago. They both graduated from Delft University of Technology, studying Industrial Design. They both started their careers working for big design agencies. “Working with big brands and multinationals is difficult. Finding consensus is almost always a problem.” Having their own company meant they could concentrate on their own passion: consumer products for consumers who appreciate aesthetics. “Everything we do is driven by curiosity and interest in every field. We are not service oriented. We only work on projects where we have a real interest. Where we can put something of ourselves.

The birth of Bold

“We were inspired by the OMA CCTV Tower in Beijing and the work of Japanese architect, Tadao Ando. What particularly interested us was playing with light. Not by using the building materials but by using the space in between. The openings where light comes in. Light is not something you design but it can become part of the design.

Bold was the first collaboration between Studio KEES and Modular Lighting Instruments. Studio KEES had long admired Modular. As Jaap puts it: “Bold’s design style is quite minimalistic , but also brave and bold in a subtle way”. This fitted perfectly with the vision of Studio KEES: “Advanced Minimalism - we strip away the clutter to get to the essence of the design. It mustn’t be boring” In Jaap’s words “It should stand out. It should jump in the eye . But also balanced.

Meeting of creative minds

The first meeting with Modular was a meeting of creative minds. Studio KEES had analysed the Modular portfolio and discovered a gap which they could help fill: a wall fixture. Studio KEES created 50 cardboard scale models to perfect the design. They called it Bold because it reminded them of a Bold type font. Thicker than a regular typeface, accentuating and emphasising the form. Studio KEES brought just one printed model and the electronics to the meeting. “In our first meeting we decided the idea, guidelines on how to make it, fixation and installation. From the initial sketch to the final product took two and a half years. It may seem like a long time, but then we had something perfect.

Modular is in the detail

Jaap is obsessive about quality and has a distaste for what he calls ‘throwawayism’. Design for today that ends up in the trash tomorrow.  He is proud of his collaboration with Modular Lighting Instruments because he believes that people are willing to pay for beautiful design. Sustainable because of its longevity. “With Modular Lighting Instruments we really appreciate their attention for detail. Clean design. Magnetic closures. No visible screws or fittings. Engineering on a higher level. To create something really beautiful, only engineers with real passion can achieve this.

So where should an interior designer use Bold? “We want to inspire the interior designer in their work. Help them add an outspoken detail, but it’s still their design. Their statement for the building. Inside or outside. Choosing for understatement or making a statement.”

Modular Lighting Instruments has been making high-end architectural lights with attitude for 40 years. They are positively opinionated. They do not believe in blending in. See more about Bold lighting by clicking here.