Anna Moldenhauer: Stefan, how did the idea for the project come about?
Stefan Diez: David Einsiedler, who runs the lighting manufacturer Midgard together with Joke Rasch and Kristin Seel, had already talked to the owner of the Badias Schirn Café before the pandemic about the idea of temporarily using the space for Light + Building. The Light + Building Autumn Edition will be taking place this fall, and we're using it as an opportunity to finally do this. My team and I have designed luminaires for both Midgard and Vibia, which are two very good examples of unusual collaborations. And we also have a good relationship with e15 as well. Together we set a date and developed an installation that, in the spirit of sustainability, will use Badias Schirn Café as a kind of showroom for the next few years.
For the lighting concept you've chosen two different products from your portfolio: The Ayno luminaire family that you designed for Midgard and the Plusminus lighting system that's just been launched for Vibia. The layout of Badia's Schirn Café is unusual – it's round and has high ceilings. How do you get the most out of such a space?
Stefan Diez: We'll create different lighting situations: Ayno will serve primarily as table lighting, i.e. the cone can be flexibly positioned and with its beautiful, direct light creates an intimate atmosphere. We've also temporarily integrated the new Ayno Wall light into the biotope of the Plusminus system by using the electrically conductive belts to electrify the luminaire. So with a little twist, we've been able to create a hybrid.
Did you change the space in any other way?
Stefan Diez: We basically oriented ourselves on the original, very clean interior design that was developed for Badias Schirn Café in 2015. To this end, some elements have also been scaled back a bit. At the installation you'll be able to see the flexible details of Vibia's Plusminus, for example the different light sources that can be used. The system is very elaborate, and we want to show what it can do. Plusminus is not only used to light the room itself, but also has a long-distance effect. We want to make the glass structure of the café, which stands in the middle of Frankfurt's New Old Town area, visible from afar.
The installation will be officially opened at Badias Schirn Café on the evening of 4 October 2022. The Light + Building Autumn Edition will run in parallel from 2 to 6 October 2022, making the cafe a convenient meeting place for the professionals visiting the trade fair. The cafe's location in the centre of the city makes it a popular location for non-professionals as well. What was important to you in addressing the needs of both groups?
Stefan Diez: With this experiment we want to emphasise the desire to try things out. Ayno and Plusminus offer a great many possibilities for ambient lighting and do so at an astonishingly reasonable cost. For example, we use the height of the ceilings to suspend the cone-shaped lampshades of Plusminus at five different levels, similar to market lighting. This variant is something new and exciting for us as well. It's also important for us to choose an installation that accurately conveys the character of both products. We want to make the idea of the modular system visible. It shouldn't simply be a crazy light installation that could also be made from some other luminaire. At the Light + Building 2018 we had an installation in e15's Frankfurt showroom, together with Vibia and Stylepark, and the current project reminds me of the close collaboration we had back then. Vibia, Midgard and e15 produce really extraordinary things as manufacturers and are also not averse to taking some risks at times. I appreciate that kind of attitude very much. In addition, the topic of cooperation in general is something I think will continue to gain in importance in the coming years. The Light + Building Autumn Edition brings together many interesting people in one place, and with the event and the installation in Badias Schirn Café we want to get them talking to each other in a relaxed atmosphere.
Tuesday, 4 October 2022, 8 pm
Badias Schirn Café Bar Restaurant
60311 Frankfurt am Main