Understanding minimalism means being aware of minimalist design principles and applying them to the creative process, either directly or indirectly. Chances are, you’re already familiar with Dieter Rams’ renowned Ten Principles for Good Design, which were penned decades ago and have proven to be timeless for product design even to this day. However, for those who are more intently focused on producing minimalist or simple design, there are additional principles that can be applied—almost as an extension to Rams’ ten. One of which is ‘Minimal design is geometric‘. And this very principle is at the core of Pedro Sottomayer’s BULB lamp series, made for Portuguese design brand, MOR.
The BULB series is a family of four hand blown glass lamps inspired by the simplicity of pure geometric shapes: cone, cylinder, sphere, and hemisphere. They can be used singularly for a functional statement or in sets or groups to create a warmer ambient. The BULB lamps, which use an LED light source, are available in two sizes, and its cable can have one of five colours: red, yellow, light grey, dark grey, and black.
Each lamp is hand blown in Portugal in a region called Marinha Grande, a place of great international reverence in regards to glassblowing. Each piece transmits the uniqueness of the moment when it was shaped by the glassblower with the help of a simple wooden mold. Therefore, slight differences between each lamp might be found, and this unevenness at the surface is the testimony of something that can only be achieved by handcraft.
Originally from Porto, Pedro Sottomayor went to Italy to study industrial design and learn directly from Italian masters. His experience in Italy was crucial to developing the principles that guide his approach to design: beauty, culture, and design awareness all channelled towards efficient industrial production.
Minimalist sensibilities have been evident in Pedro’s work early in his professional design career, particularly when he began with an ambitious project in 1999, with a curated project titled ‘minimalanimal’, which brought together 20 illustrious designers and architects to jointly design a collection of ceramic pieces.
Pedro founded his own design office in Lisbon in 2009. Since then, there have been two main strands to his work: the development of new products; and creative direction for brands and companies.