We have been writing about the work of Swiss designer Tom Strala as early as 2009, when we discovered his extraordinary Pompidu lamp. Tom studied architecture at the ETH Zürich and obtained his Masters in Architecture with distinction in 2001. From the early stages Strala has been working in his studio. Since 2002 he runs his own showroom based in Swiss’ largest city Zürich, located in the well-known Seefeld area. Since 2008 Strala is registered as limited company and is continuously intensifying its local and international activities within the world of art and architecture. Today Strala is recognized as design pioneer questioning established values and nurturing new ones. Strala’s spirit is one of a seeker, constantly challenging himself to dive deeper into understanding, exploring from different perspectives only to unveil what lies behind surfaces and to get closer to the bottom of things, whether it’s the material or forms he works with. The results are minimal, robust designs always with elegant touches and lines, which we highly admire.
In the recent years Strala was featured in several exhibitions at renowned museums and galleries and expanded by lectureships and leading workshops at the ETH Zurich as well as at the California College of the Arts. Tom’s growing reputation also led him to participate and chair in international judging panels in the fields of architecture, design and art. Strala realized projects for star architects as Zaha Hadid, Sir Norman Foster, Mario Botta, David Chipperfield and Herzog de Meuron. He has received different awards such as Europe’s Luminaire of the Year and been published in AD Choice the best pieces of furniture.
Our clear favorite out of all his creations still remains one of the first designs of Strala which we discovered, dating back to 2008: the extraordinary Pompidu lamp. Pipes cover the electric cabling of the lamp, named after the Parisian museum for modern art famous for its pipe-structures, which at the same time gives it a firm shape. The lamp stands for the reduction of everything down to what is strictly necessary. A lighting object in which the supporting structure, electric current and optical appearance interact in a subtle and poetic way, making it one of the most desirable lights we have ever laid eyes on.
Make sure to see Strala’s unusual approach to material, light, and form up close when it is on display at Laufen’s new US office and showroom in Miami during Design Escape running from November 30 until the 7th of December of this year.
For more information on the incredible work of Tom Strala see here.