Foscariniís Spokes lamp puts unique spin on pendant lighting

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Foscarini's Spokes lamps come in two shapes and two colors (white and mustard)

To add to the Pinterest board, Amazon wish list, wedding registry or other "to buy" list: a Spokes hanging lamp from Foscarini. Inspired by antique Asian lanterns, birdcages and bicycle wheels, this contemporary-looking lighting fixture was designed by Vicente Garcia Jimenez and Cinzia Cumini ó the creative duo behind Studio Garcia Cumini Associati ó and is one of our favorite recent finds.

Itís simple in shape and materials, and made of metal wires that were gently bent at the ends using special computer software. But thereís a twist: Rather than put a light bulb in the middle of the lamp, as is typical of most pendants, Jimenez and Cumini installed a bidirectional LED light source farther down. "Our focus was to move the light source to the bottom and to figure out how to bring electricity to that position of the lamp," the Spanish and Italian design duo recently told Metropolis Magazine. "We shaped the LED in such a specific way that it is not directly visible to the eye."

The cleverly concealed LED points both downward, to directly illuminate surfaces, and upward, casting a moody interplay of light and shadow onto the walls. There are two lamp shapes to choose from (round and oblong) and two colors (white and gold). We imagine installing a single Spokes fixture above a table or reading nook for a lightweight but deceptively dramatic effect, or suspending a cluster of lamps of different shapes and colors in a dining room to achieve a sculptural look. Itís understated enough to complement several different living spaces and interior-design styles.