Alfonso Martinez Brianza, product designer from Uruguay, finds uses for residues of semi-precious stones
Stone and light is a combination that has gone through endless variations, from floor or hanging lamps to super-thin slices of certain varieties that then become translucent and decoratively let their veins glow. A completely new variation on this has been developed by product designer Alfonso Martinez Brianza: He inserts lamps into hollow bodies with a stone rim and allows them to emit a specially colored light or to shine decoratively in the thin areas of their outer skin.
The original material is actually waste pieces from the extraction of semi-precious stones. Uruguay has a significant industry in this field, namely amethyst, jasper, agate and quartz. They were once formed under great pressure and heat inside the earth and later came with volcanism to the area around today’s national capital Montevideo.
In the “Lox“ collection, as Brianza has named his lamps, the chunks were previously drilled through with the semi-precious stones. Afterwards, the drilled cores are used to make spheres or other decorative objects, for example.
Brianza actually has the semi-precious stones in his blood, so to speak: his grandfather Washington used them for jewelry, and the designer grandson tells that when he visited grandpa, he always ran to his workshop to see what was new there.
As a child, he took courses and workshops, then went on to study product design at the University of Uruguay. In 2017, he founded Studio Tosca with Cecilia Casafúa, focusing on small everyday objects for the table and kitchen that drew their impact from the colors and veins of the stones.
In 2019, he studied jewelry design at the Pedro Figari School in Montevideo, arriving at the family history.
This was followed by an analysis of the possibilities inherent in the waste pieces of semi-precious stones, and in 2022 he was invited with his prototypes to the Ibero-American Design Biennial in Madrid and in 2023 to the Salone Satellite at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.
The hallmark of the design is that he gives the shape only to the 3 different metal lamp bases; he leaves the lights themselves completely untreated. In this respect, they are less to be understood as light sources than as light sculptures for interior design.
Normally, his rough pieces are used to fill the foundations of new buildings.
Fotos: Estudio Brianza
(25.10.2023, USA: 10.25.2023)