CELEBRATING VALENCIA WORLD DESIGN CAPITAL 2022
the lamps company LZF recently hosted a sparkling dinner party in their factory garden to celebrate the approaching events of valencia design capital 2022. this title is awarded every two years by the world design organization, a nonprofit entity that aims to encourage the use of design to further the economic, social, cultural, and environmental development of the world’s cities. in choosing valencia, they highlighted the city’s effective application of mediterranean design, particularly related to promoting change and improving quality of life.
designboom traveled to valencia and had the chance to talk with marivì calvo and sandro tothill, founders and CEOs of LZF, about the early times of valencian design, the spontaneous beginning of LZF and the role of collaboration in the creative process.
all images courtesy of LZF, shot by maria mira, unless stated otherwise
LZF, originally called luzifer, was founded by marivì calvo and sandro tothill in 1994. lzf’s products are proudly handmade in valencia. to design and manufacture its collection of lamps, lzf has collaborated with the region’s hugely talented artisans and the power of collaboration and the ability to form lasting alliances has generated a sense of energy and vitality that passes to their products.
designboom (DB): can you tell us a little about the beginning of LZF?
sandro tothill(ST): it is really hard for me to do a short round-up because it’s 27 years of our life, basically we are a couple, and when we’ve met we were thinking of what we could do with ourselves. she was a painter and I was a musician. we were just fiddling around at home with some materials she had in the studio, which was wood veneer and stuff like that, and we had them on the light table on a summer evening. we switched the light on and some of them became translucent. we said ’oh my god this is the perfect light diffuser!’. so we started to elaborate on ways of making diffusers for lamps. and that’s how we created our first collections.
LZF iconic suspension lamp koi
DB: when it was only the two of you, how did you organize the work?
ST: when we started, just the two of us in our garage, she was designing, and I was making. I think in english, there’s a difference in the verb make and do. and I think in that case, she made and I did. and that’s how it came about, we’re still very happy to be doing this.
LZF’s agatha lamp
DB: what role do collaborations play in LZF?
ST: I think the most enjoyable thing about LZF is the possibility of working with lots of different people, writers, musicians, illustrators, painters, artisans, ceramists. that is because we’re naturally very curious people and it’s hard for us to concentrate just on one kind of thing. by doing that we constantly got a fresh ingredient in the mix. in this way you can create products that always ensemble a certain originality.