Sculptural Lighting from Canada’s Bocci

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By Marianne Colahan / Published by Dwell
Founded in 2005, Bocci consistently balances their functional products with stunning design details. The company’s pendant lighting functions as much as an artistic installation as overhead lighting, and is the result of thoughtful, innovative production.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Bocci is a modern design and manufacturing house. The company launched with one product, the 14 series, which remains a Bocci classic and best seller. Today, the company produces a range of design items including lighting installations, furniture, and cutting edge electrical sockets. All of the company’s designs are developed, engineered, and fabricated in-house. At its Vancouver headquarters, Bocci has a fully equipped glass blowing studio, offices, design studio, and warehouse. Bocci designers, technicians, and salespeople walk through the factory floor to arrive at their desks, offering a deep connection to their work.

At the Hotel Alexandra in Barcelona, Spain, the 14 Series of pendant lights are placed just beyond the lobby windows, offering a welcoming lighting display that evokes the look of starlight.

Each of Bocci’s series of lights is named by a number. According to Creative Director Omer Arbel, numbering provided an escape from the traditional constraints of product naming. It seemed to Arbel that "naming serious work using funny names was a self-deprecating exercise on the one hand, and on the other hand, a kind of almost megalomania, and I didn’t like that. It seemed to be everything wrong with design." The choice to use numbers was an attempt to take a step away from the convention of industrial design and also provide a simple, chronological system that effectively kept track of Bocci’s design history.

With its pendant lights, the numbering system first calls to the product—21 for example. Following this number, a decimal point and another number signals how many lights are included with the product. The 21.1 is a single pendant light, while the 21.7 has seven pendants. This precise, mathematical approach to naming makes selecting a light a cleaner, simpler process.

Vancouver–based photographer Gwenael Lewis captures clustered installations of the 21 series light, highlighting the warm glow within the porcelain shades.

The 21 Series offers a romantic example of the possibilities of Bocci’s pendant lighting. While its primary function remains illumination, the carefully sculpted porcelain shades of each pendant present an artistic installation, making this light source as much a work of hanging sculpture as it is a pendant light. The lights can be clustered, placed in different locations within a room, or used individually to create an impact. The nature of the materials used—namely the high quality white porcelain—gives the 21 Series distinctive, multi-faceted properties. Below, Omer Arbel describes the process taken to make each shade of the 21 Series light.



There is natural inspiration to the 21 Series. Whether one sees the scattered barnacles on rocks or the graceful opening of a lily when looking at the pendants, there is something intrinsically organic about the series. The subtle variations between shades call to the imperfections of nature—some shades are thinner than others, and thickness varies within each individual shade. The way that the shades cascade down from the canopy offers a sense of lightness, like floating petals or falling snow. The 21 series balances both sophistication and whimsy, a rare feat in modern industrial design.

Used as ambient lighting in a dining room, several 21 Series pendants are clustered to offer warm, dreamy overhead lighting.

In addition to Bocci’s statement lighting, the brand has launched the 22 Series. It is a departure from Bocci’s typical products, focusing on minimalizing over standing out. The electrical outlet series is designed to disappear, eliminating the use of electrical covers and caps, instead placing the sockets directly into the wall. Omer Arbel refers to the traditional covers as "visual noise," and sought to create an electrical system that could replace the conventional white plastic protrusions, allowing for them to disappear into the walls themselves. The 22 Series is designed for installation during a home build or renovation, as the outlets are installed behind the drywall or another surface.

Without the expected plastic covers, the outlets fade into the wall itself. This drywall configuration is made using a 22 series gang plate and outlet removal tool.

Bocci’s distinctive product line is the result of thoughtful engineering, compelling design, and a clear sense of purpose. From the hand-blown glass at the company’s Vancouver headquarters to the cutting edge technology created for its outlet series, Bocci is a consistent performer that truly celebrates the potential of modern interior spaces. 

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