“Emotional.” It is not a word usually employed to describe a lamp or light fixture, but then again, Albi Serfaty does not work with what is usual. As creative director and co-founder of Israeli design atelier Aqua Creations, Serfaty operates in the space between humans and their possessions, producing something more expressive than the average everyday object. His geometric pieces, layered with folds of coloured fabric, create a vibrancy, a glow, a feeling.
“The lights that we are making are more warm or human or emotional, I hope,” he says over the phone from Jaffa, just outside Tel Aviv in Israel, where every piece is handmade by his team of 35. “I think it’s also the quality of the folding of the fabric that sometimes is hypnotizing. You can really look at it.” There is the Zooid Collection, for example, which features the exquisite three-dimensional Zooid Diamond that hangs in suspension from the ceiling, letting its triangular patterns and luminescent blues immediately draw the eye in; or the Mino Collection, including Aqua Creations’s popular Simon Says design: flat square and rectangular pieces framed in mahogany or oak are wrapped with cascading silk for a polished yet playful form. “I would say the softness of the light, and the quality of the light itself, are two factors,” Serfaty says, when asked how lighting changes a room. “And then of course you’ve got the artistic values, the aesthetics values.” For Aqua Creations, that means pieces are sculptural, evocative, and, at times, pleasantly surprising. The company has a gallery in SoHo in New York, but now there is a place to see its work even closer to home, as some items are now available at SwitzerCultCreative’s new Vancouver showroom on West 3rd. Along with Simon Says, Vancouverites can view the Mimosa pendant and Morning Glory floor lamp.
Despite it being his livelihood, Serfaty is unexpectedly relaxed when it comes to his personal views on lighting design. “Nobody needs another light in this world,” he says, emitting a drawled laugh. “I could do with just bare bulbs!” He laughs again, and then continues: “But you want to surround yourself with beautiful things.”
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