sottovoce – four moods of light | Huub Ubbens

• December 21, 2010

LED Light Exhibition Design 2010, Milan
From December 4, 2010 to January 10, 2011

Huub Ubbens, Dutch designer based in Milan and Montpellier, has conceived the poetic installation sottovoce inside the Public Gardens Indro Montanelli during the LED Light Exhibition Design 2010 in Milan. In front of the  seventeenthcentury Palazzo Dugnani, surrounded by the silent and evocative green of the park and framed by Antonio Rosmini’s statue and a fountain, the project approaches light in a conceptual way expressing its beauty, its role in everyday life and its importance as an inspiration for visual and literary arts through some magic, suggestive and analytical essays written by five illustrious authors, whose words can be listened to while hiding in the dark from the feverish life of the city.

sottovoce is realized with four big, matt-black cones that offer protection to one person. Every cone spreads a loop of a 20 minutes text, recited by Italian actors. The five authors represented in sottovoce propose a reflection – anthropological, poetical, metaphysical and historical – on the culture of light in men’s life: its variety and beauty, the importance of the dark, the symbolism of light and its relationship with the human being.

Huub Ubbens plusMOOD 1 sottovoce   four moods of light | Huub Ubbens

sottovoce installation by Huub Ubbens

The five essays – “In Praise of Shadows” by Junichiro Tanazaki, “De Umbris Idearum” by Giordano Bruno, “Light” by Ettore Sottsass and an interaction of two voices reading fragments from “Light in its artistic manifestations” by Hans Sedlmayr and “Light of Things” by Antonella Anedda – approach the thread in different ways, concentrating on the dark that generates light or starting with reflections on light to end with the dark. The intimate darkness inside the cones where the texts are diffused emphasizes the meaning of the words and creates the ideal atmosphere to concentrate on the authors’ monologues and let imagination run free.

Huub Ubbens plusMOOD4 sottovoce   four moods of light | Huub Ubbens

sottovoce installation by Huub Ubbens

About sottovoce, conceived for the LED Light Exhibition Design 2010 in Milan, Huub Ubbens says:

Sometimes these stories about light are so delightful to exceed in beauty the original source of inspiration…Maybe, reading or listening to these stories on light we are able to imagine silent places and magic atmospheres and really see and perceive what we normally take for granted in our everyday life.

LED Light Exhibition Design 2010. On occasion of the second edition of LED Light Exhibition Design – from December 4, 2010 to January 10, 2011 – Milan gets lighted up by the creativity of young talents and renowned designers which have been called to decorate the city with light, turning it into an open air stage presenting lighting installations, projections, sets, contemporary works of art and design.

Huub Ubbens plusMOOD 4 sottovoce   four moods of light | Huub Ubbens

sottovoce installation by Huub Ubbens

+ About Huub Ubbens

Born in the Netherlands in October 1964, Huub Ubbens graduated in design at the Rietveld Academy of Art in Amsterdam in 1992. In 1992 he collaborated with the studio Cappelli&Ranzo in Naples. In 1994 he moved to Milan where he collaborated with different designers such as Marco Ferreri, Andrea Branzi and Claudio La Viola.

From 1997 to 2004 he worked for the company Artemide as the head of the design department. From 2002 to 2007 he collaborated with the company Danese Milano as the responsible of the design department.

In 2005 he started up his own design studio in Milan. He designed industrial products for different companies and also teached and guided workshops at various design schools.

+ Designer: Huub Ubbens |

+ All images courtesy Huub Ubbens

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