While lighting may come as an afterthought to some, for Pablo Pardo and his firm Pablo Designs in San Francisco, Calif., lighting is integral to the design’s ability to transform the user experience of a space. For over 20 years, Pablo has worked with the philosophy that a fusion of simplicity and utility with technology and materiality can create timeless designs that improve how we interact with each other and our surroundings. And with the evolution of the workplace in recent years to accommodate employee needs, Pablo Designs is coming up with innovations to address the ways in which people interact.
“We’re seeing the office environment change dramatically,” explained Pardo. “Cubicles are going away. Privacy screens are going away. What’s being left are, essentially, surfaces and task lighting. Task lighting traditionally lived on desks, but now it’s moving vertically to surfaces and walls.”
Pablo Designs’ recent collaboration with Teknion addressed these changes in working spaces and led to the development of the Lana light. Using magnets within the lampshade (customizable in Teknion’s wide array of felts), the simplistic design of the lamp is made intricate in its ability to be moved and placed anywhere along metal supports, changing the way the user interacts with the lighting.
Of this collaboration, Pardo said, “We have basically been entrusted to work with Teknion to develop new lighting strategies that are all-encompassing. That means we’re not just designing one fixture, we’re identifying many new opportunities where different kinds of light, and different lighting solutions can be part of their system furniture line.” The Lana’s ability to stick-and-go on a variety of surfaces elevates the user’s experience by providing real-time customization, going beyond traditional lighting solutions.
Looking toward the future, Pardo believes companies will begin to better grasp the “human experience in respect to light” as an integral part of design, as well as place more importance on timeless designs. For both, he said technology will play a major role, whether in interactive lighting that responds to a person’s movement with color changes, or with an aesthetic shell of a lamp that can be saved while upgrading out-of-date functional aspects.
“We will be able to plug the technology in and out, the same as you would an iPad,” he explained. “The actual hardware is still maintained throughout the life of the product.
By finding importance in how form and function change the user experience, clients can find better solutions for longer periods of time, thereby spurring positive change in their environments. And when they turn, seeking those creative lighting solutions, Pablo Designs will be one move ahead.