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Designers

Nathan Baraness & Marina Daguet

University

ÉCAL, Lausanne

Published

StudentDesign

June, 2019

Pictures

Julien Deceroi

Stories #017

An electrical votive light stand

Celeste

Episode is a young product design studio created in 2018 by Nathan Baraness and Marina Daguet. After recently graduating from ECAL, their goal is to cultivate multifaceted eclecticism. Both passionate about antiques, Nathan and Marina like to draw inspiration from old or forgotten objects, their memories, or colorful finds.

Ritual objects are fascinating. They are messenger objects, bridges between the world of man and the world of the divine. We chose to work on votive light stand because it is a very old and traditional object which is changing since a few years. Places of worship gradually abandon their candles because the soot they release damaged the walls and make disappear under a black veil painting and stained glass windows.

The idea was, through this project, to bring back in a contemporary object, gesture and poetry of this ancient ritual without losing all the symbolism and beauty of the candles.

The challenge was to keep some landmarks of the old ones, just essentials that make you understand directly what it is and how to use it. Play with the archetype without falling into imitation. The overall shape had to find a balance between something new, but yet recognizable. 

The shape of the table is a circle, which in Christian culture symbolizes homogeneity and unity. The candles are stored in the middle, using the central leg of the table. This leg is a column, a universal church's element that symbolizes the connection between earth and the sky.

It's made out of steel with a stone weight for stability and an opening to make the object lighter and let light shine through. The candles light up when you place them in the table and spread progressively, like flames in those thin white lamps. The frosted plexiglass softens the light and gives the lamps a ghostly appearance. 

It was a real challenge to work on this object, to create a perfect link between the past and future. We had to think about symbols, shapes, numbers and light and leave nothing to chance. The design is global, and so it goes much further than the function alone.

If we could give some advice on projects similar to this one, it would be to go very deeply in research. When you touch sacred or ancient objects, everything has a meaning. So it is important to study a lot because when you choose a particular shape, you say something. This lesson can be applied to each project. Formal choices are not only aesthetic or functional, they are indeed the voices of our objects •