Electrifying Design: A Century of Lighting emphasizes lighting’s role in propelling innovation in design. Due to the efforts of American and European scientists, inventors, and manufacturers beginning in the late 1800s, electric light bulbs and their attendant fixtures began to pervade domestic and urban life. This ultimately spawned a field that took into consideration both function and aesthetics, sparking wonderment through innovation and the alchemy of light.
Lighting engages with advances in technology and materials and serves as a leading indicator of changing aesthetic movements. Rather than presenting a comprehensive survey, this exhibition examines key contributions by international lighting designers and manufacturers through the lens of three ideas—Typologies, The Bulb, and Quality of Light. Throughout the exhibition, the most compelling, innovative, influential, and, sometimes, earliest expressions of a concept can be seen both as functional works and as awe-inspiring forms that delight.
Electrifying Design demonstrates that lighting is a crucial, integral practice in modern and contemporary life. The works in this exhibition stand at the crossroads of the history and the future of lighting design: illuminating the past and present while revealing filaments of the ideas and forms that may potentially spark the imaginations of ensuing generations.