At this year’s Fuorisalone, “Transcendence” was the theme of Ross Gardam’s moody exhibition that dove into the innate allure of illuminated glass. Each luminaire originated from the Australian lighting designer’s fascination with the intersection of engineering and traditional craft techniques. None of the studio’s creations embodies that dichotomy better than the sprawling Volant chandelier, a dazzling statement piece and one of the many highlights of his inaugural Milan Design Week showcase.
Gardam likens the chandelier’s tessellating brass arms and fluted glass diffusers to a kinetic sculpture for its “uncanny ability to appear in motion.” Serpentining formations of birds in flight inspired the illusion of mobility and orbit. The fixture’s most intriguing attribute isn’t rooted in the poetic imagery behind its references of inspiration, but in its practical attributes.
Adornments for the sake of ornament alone don’t mesh with the studio’s methodic approach; the brass pins seen throughout are used to affix the glass diffuser to each arm, which is individually machined. This modular construction allows fixtures to be customized to fit over a grand twelve-person dining table or to illuminate an intimate foyer. Of course, the chandelier’s real beauty lies in how you don’t need to know the luminaire’s origin story to marvel at its optical illusion or deceptive simplicity—it transcends the discourse and speaks for itself.