Feel the world in a new light with Tobias Grau
According to Le Corbusier, the struggle for it underpins the history of architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright described it as a “beautifier of buildings”. And Motoko Ishii famously equated it to life itself. Indispensable, life-affirming and metamorphic, light underpins all architectural and design efforts.
Illumination has the power to reveal, manipulate and transform, and its tremendous influence on how space is expressed – and experienced by its inhabitants – has seen architects and designers consistently pursue light, and harness its creative prowess to articulate structures, spaces and objects.
This kinship is intrinsically linked to the stimulating dependence we, as humans, have with light. Its life-sustaining and invigorating properties have been linked to our circadian system, and our ability to focus, learn and memorise. Illumination can influence our moods, emotions and attitudes – and even our ability to wind down and relax. It has also been demonstrated that the right kind of light can improve reaction time – much like a shot of espresso.
Because of its incredible influence on humans, luminosity is considered a crucial element of biophilic design. Expressed through the use of light to provide brightness throughout the day, and mimic the natural pattern of the sun through the use of natural and artificial light, this approach to illumination has been referred to as “biophilic lighting” but also – and perhaps even more aptly – “human-centric light”.
Established by Tobias Grau in the mid 1980s, Tobias Grau is an innovative lighting design brand that understands the transformative potential of illumination – and has made it their mission to better the quality of human experience through light. “The brand has designed and manufactured some of the most industry-defining and unique lighting fixtures that prioritise the role of light in bettering the human condition alongside exquisite design, thoughtful functionality and fantastic finished quality,” remarks Russell Napier, the Managing Director of Enlightened Living, an Australian distributor of Tobias Grau’s highly-resolved products.
Today, under the leadership of Tobias’ sons, Timon and Melchor – and the telling brand line of “feel the world in a new light”- Tobias Grau continues to design luminaires that celebrate the many ways light can enhance one’s life, recognising its potential to affect our moods, emotions and wellbeing, as well as inspire and empower. The latest product line is a wonderful expression of this commitment.
In many ways a culmination of Tobias Grau’s incredible legacy, the TEAM family of lamps has been designed to shine the light on the new ways of working, and the evolving relationship between the professional and domestic contexts. Amongst six TEAM lamp typologies, there are models designed for office and commercial spaces, while TEAM HOME brings the professional standard of lighting into the residential setting.
All luminaires have been created to enhance productivity, focus and creativity, and boast exquisite technologies that put the wellness and comfort of the user first. The positive impact of the lighting fixtures starts with their minimalistic, yet sculptural form. Visually engaging and sleek, the pared back silhouettes ensure minimal intrusion of the light produced. This results in uninterrupted, optimal illumination which helps to keep the work area well-lit and free-flowing, enhancing the user’s ability to focus.
Naturally, the same level of thought has been given to the light itself. TEAM luminaires are equipped with the pioneering Beam Lens technology which not only provides unmatched de-glaring, ensuring ocular health and comfort, but also features adaptive LED lights delivering an outstanding distribution of smooth, consistent light across the entire work workstation and its surroundings for improved productivity.
Colour Tune technology, which can also be found in other Tobias Grau’s designs – like the wonderfully flexible desk lamp called JOHN – enables users to program and adapt preferred light settings. This taps into the natural light cycle, allowing the lamp to generate crisp, white light in the morning – and a more subtle illumination towards the end of day.
This potential of artificial light to affect the circadian rhythm is further harnessed by the Warm Dim technology, in-built in the vast majority of Tobias Grau’s extensive product offering – like the futuristic FLYING luminaire or the subtle, yet striking FALLING IN fixture. This functionality has been designed to automatically adjust the colour temperature to brightness and empowers the user to dim the light up or down, depending on time of day and desired effect. Dimming up results in the lamp beaming a stimulating, bright light perfect for daytime focus. Dimming down, on the other hand, is synonymous with a soft, gentle and calming evening glow.
Of course, in considering the wellbeing, comfort, productivity and creativity of the user – which so clearly underpins Tobias Grau’s product design – one has to observe the relationship between the light and space.
In this area, Tobias Grau’s products are designed as dynamic, sculptural and architectural pieces whose forms enhance both the visual expression and the ambience of the interior. This is further amplified by the quality and distribution of light, which ultimately empowers the products to establish a relationship with their surroundings both through the carefully designed and expressive physical form and the illumination they generate.
The FLYING luminaire is an apt example of this comprehensive approach to the objects. This striking, architectural fixture is based on a height-adjustable system, which allows the user to not only lower and raise the lamp, but also angle it to truly transform the atmosphere in the room. This level of control is coupled with powerful 50/50 direct and indirect light distribution, resulting in a gentle and holistic illumination, perfect for meeting rooms, dining spaces and coworking hubs.
The ability to manoeuvre the fixture compounds the architectural potential of its physical expression and the light it produces, introducing an element of purposeful responsiveness and flexibility in the context of the surrounding interior.
Taking this premise of control further, Tobias Grau’s portable lights, such as the adjustable PARROT – dubbed by the brand as the “cableless lamp” – further redefine not only the relationship between the user and the light, but between the inhabitant and the fixture – and the occupied space. Enabling individuals to control the physical position of the object in relation to its surroundings – and to express the user’s preferences and needs – enhances both the practicality and the empowering nature of the design. In addition, the ability to freely relocate an otherwise unmovable object elevates its versatility and further shifts the capability to curate the space.
In addition to redefining the relationship between the light and the space, the adjustable element of the light that invites touch and interaction alters the dynamic between the human and the object. This aspect of design is further compounded in the design of the much smaller SALT & PEPPER which generates an inviting 360 degree glow at a warm 450 Lumen. The smooth, and touch-sensitive luminaire makes it incredibly easy to dim the light in the most tactile and intuitive way, which – in combination with its compact, hour-glass shape – elevates the personal, and somewhat intimate dimension of the light and the way it interacts with its surroundings.
Through a beautifully designed and manufactured selection of innovative, intuitive and human-centric Tobias Grau brings out the best in the transformative and enhancing potential of artificial light. Available via Enlightened Living, the range mindfully considers the positive impact of the luminaires on the experience of the individual and their creative and fluid effect on the surrounding space, harnessing their power to inspire, empower and enhance – and inviting the user to genuinely feel the world in a new light.