A new and exciting collaboration

Delta Light closely collaborates with architects on their projects, providing lighting solutions tailored to the needs of the space. Having worked with MVRDV on their projects, and impressed by their approach and style in architecture, Delta Light invited MVRDV for the design of their latest collection. In addition to a high-quality product that would be consistent with the Delta Light catalogue, they also requested a design that would be bold, colourful, and conceptual, in line with the architecture for which MVRDV is renowned. 

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Shedding new light on sustainable design

The team of MVRDV architects and interior specialists, led by Jacob van Rijs, decided to make a feature of the difference between the way a luminaire is presented in a showroom and the less glamorous reality of how it is crafted and produced. A sustainable approach to the production of the new range was the starting point; the designers wanted to work with recycled materials where possible.

“The project started with the question of whether we could develop new possibilities with Delta Light’s leftover material, instead of inventing a completely new product”, says MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs. “A visit to Delta Light’s showroom and factory showed an interesting contrast between the lighting, which was presented amidst a great art collection in their showroom, and the factory where raw materials, components, cables, drivers, screws, caps, packaging – in fact, everything that goes into a luminaire – was visible. In particular, the stacks of aluminium profiles in various shades of white, silver, black, and gold proved to be a source of inspiration. The amazing details of these profiles are usually hidden inside the wall or ceiling; we wanted to make their beauty visible as the main feature of the new design.”

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From offcuts to High Profile

Profile lighting is a key part of architecture, but offcuts are often a residual product. These leftover elements became the starting point of the design. By varying the scale and size of the extensive Delta Light profile range, a series of luminaires could be created from these elements. The High Profile series presents a cube-shaped pendant luminaire, a wall fixture in the shape of an arch, and a freestanding model with profiles placed side by side. The industrial look is softened by giving the profiles a colour dip; the series comes in pink, ochre, light green and light blue, among others, adding MVRDV’s well-known use of expressive colours to Delta Light’s typically white, black and gold range.
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The design process: the Profile Remixer

To make the design approach functional in the long-term, MVRDV’s technology taskforce MVRDV NEXT has developed a script called the “Profile Remixer” which can generate possible compositions with all 50 types of profile, and evaluate them using real-time data. With this tool, the High Profile concept allows for the ongoing development and adjustment of the design, accommodating the fluctuating availability of leftover profiles and changing demands for size, shape, and composition.
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Mutual appreciation

The name ‘High Profile’ illustrates the process of putting things which are normally found backstage into the spotlight. At the same time this series is a homage to craftsmanship, because each luminaire is carefully handmade, gathering together profiles that have been precisely engineered and designed.

“Made-to-measure profile lighting has been part of the Delta Light range from the very beginning, and has grown to become an extensive collection”, says Peter Ameloot, CEO of Delta Light. “We were very surprised and at the same time delighted to see that MVRDV not only appreciated the level of precision and expertise that goes into the design and production of these profiles, but even wanted to bring the raw materials to the forefront. To see a product that is usually completely integrated and anonymous in architecture evolve to become such an eye-catcher was a very inspiring exercise for us.”

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Reuse what’s already there

In addition to being made from industrial elements, High Profile also homes in on the reuse of materials and sustainability throughout the production process. By reusing what is already there, new aluminium parts don’t need to be manufactured or transported from the production plant – significantly reducing the environmental impact. The luminaires can also be disassembled, allowing part of the raw materials to be reused. The design therefore invites consumers to think carefully about the materials that are all around them; to see beauty in the everyday, and to see opportunity in what we usually ignore.