Levisarha and Marcel Ziemons shine in Milan Design - 27 May 2016
At the collective Milan event "Belgian matters. A Matter of Perception: Tradition & Technology", the duo of Levisarha designers has carved a place for itself under the Italian sun. Produced with the company Marcel Ziemons, their "Drill" lamp is being talked about beyond Belgian and European borders.
Levi Dethier and Sarha Duquesne, the presence of your Levisarha studio at the Milan Furniture Fair did not go unnoticed. What do you feel about the event?
LD: We are naturally very happy and quite proud, mainly because the NY Times singled us out among the fifteen emerging talents at the Fair! We created Levisarha in 2014. The Fair and associated press reviews give our work as young designers a highly-appreciated credibility. It is a good basis for what comes next.
SD: We are also very grateful to the company Marcel Ziemons with whom we produced the project. It really entered into the spirit of things by giving us the necessary time and attention. We also commend the initiative of Belgium is Design and DAMN Magazine behind the event. Our presence was a follow-up to a call for projects. Such opportunities are a real chance for young designers. They make it possible to create convincing projects which would have been otherwise difficult due to lack of time, resources or concrete issues.
How do you see your journey progressing?
SD: Levisarha has been in existence for two years. At this point, we have already developed Perimeter, a collection of mass-produced furniture which is receiving very positive feedback. We have studied in Belgium and Switzerland, travelled to London and been sought out for various events and exhibitions in France and New York. Milan consolidates and confirms our presence in the international marketplace. We are going to continue in this vein, flowing on from Milan.
LD: Our production is still highly diverse. Although our passion is for mass-produced furniture, we want to keep an open mind for experiments like the recent set designs. For Milan, the project is all about the limited series, at least for the time being. We are not ruling out going back to working on mass production.
Can you explain the philosophy of your design through the Drill lamp?
LD: We like to make things obvious. Our products are minimalist. They are concerned about detail, especially in terms of assembly. The elements are designed to be used as is, without tricks, in total transparency. The result is a design with lines and structures that can instantly be understood.
SD: The starting point for the Drill lamp was a desire to work with stone and the core drilling technique. The finished product is a direct result of these two choices. Drill is a lamp made up of two basalt cylinders with different heights and diameters. One is a floor lamp that stands on the ground and the other is a reading lamp. On paper this seems simple, but the design and production required Marcel Ziemons to be proficient in stone core drilling techniques.
The company is in fact one-of-a-kind. Tell us something about it.
LD: Marcel Ziemons is a marble works located in the Eastern Cantons. It features traditional know-how supplemented by cutting-edge skills in new stone-working technologies. It specialises especially in 3D scanning processes for use in cutting stone from a digital 3D model.
SD: The company has focused on innovation and inventiveness. We turned to it as one of the last marble works to be expert in core drilling techniques. It was able to develop and adapt its tools for the Drill project. We also found its knowledge of stone very useful. Advice from this company directed our choice towards basalt. This local, volcanic stone is the perfect aesthetic and technical match for the project.
Final thoughts on the collaboration?
SD: I think that it happened exactly as anticipated by Belgium is Design and DAMN Magazine under the Belgian Matters exhibition. There was a genuine exchange of ideas and of know-how. Our project was also a technical challenge to be taken up for Ziemons. Its technical capacities are now even more diverse because of it.
LD: The project also highlights the qualities and know-how found in Belgium. The collaboration was a chance for us to promote our studio, on the international stage what is more. We are also delighted about the spotlight being shone on the activities of Marcel Ziemons. Its capacities in the sector are exceptional and too often undervalued, including in Belgium.