When art meets technology: a day's training in L&L for students from the Verona Academy of Fine Arts.
Students from the third year of the Product Design course at the Academy of Fine Arts in Verona spent a day of training at the Vicenza headquarters, accompanied by their lecturer Sotirios Papadopoulos. L&L became involved in the learning path of these future designers because it exemplifies a company whose output is all Made in Italy and that handles the entire creative process of its lighting fixtures, from design to production, within its Italian headquarters.
Papadopoulos gives the university course a decidedly practical slant by training students to develop authentic projects to be presented to companies. From the outset, his students learn that the implementation of a product concept is subject to the constraints of feasibility set by the company, as well as the ability of the designers themselves to communicate their initial idea coherently.
The course leads directly to fruitful collaborations between the Academy and Italian companies in different sectors, since it gives students the opportunity to put forward original concepts intended for the market. In this way, real partnerships are created in which the worlds business and education both benefit from sharing creativity and knowledge. Over the years, Papadopoulos’s study course has also led to young people being hired by the companies involved.
“I took my students on a visit to L&L to give them a real chance to receive highly technical training in the lighting industry,” said Papadopoulos, explaining his decision to involve L&L in this project. “While these future designers already know how to excel in terms of aesthetics, decoration and beauty, they also need to work on building technical expertise in product development,” continued the architect. L&L is characterized by a strong attention to product quality and by its drive to develop innovations that aim to improve the functionality and reliability of lighting fixtures.
For this reason, the company has become a study and examination subject for third-year students. First, they analysed it remotely through its website, to understand its product offering and the company style, and then first hand through a visit to the company with a day of technical training.
At L&L, the students were given an overview of all the innovative technological solutions developed by the company over the years to make its products more efficient, reliable and precise.
They then attended a seminar on lighting design, in which they learnt how to build an ad hoc lighting solution, which starts with an assessment of the project needs and the existing constraints without losing sight of the beauty and appeal of the final result.
Finally, they looked in more detail at the fundamental steps of product development, from the initial idea through to market launch, by examining the case histories of projects developed by L&L.
The exam the students will take includes the presentation of a design for a luminaire that is technically perfect and reliable and technologically innovative (hence the need for training in L&L), but that is also aesthetically appealing, and attractive to the market, with a concept and a story to tell that make it stand out.
A further constraint increases the challenge for these young people: the product needs to be suitable for use in monumental, historical and artistic spaces. This means they need to know the regulations governing lighting renovation in buildings subject to the constraints of safeguarding Italy’s artistic heritage.
This project is the first step in creating a direct link between the Academy and L&L and is part of the social responsibility initiative started by L&L in 2017 aimed at the Vicenza and Veneto region and the young people who represent its future. This commitment has already led L&L to develop projects specifically intended to provide guidance for the region’s young people (read about them here).
After graduating in Architecture from the Università IUAV di Venezia, the architect, artist and designer Sotirios Papadopoulos continued his training with a Master's degree in Los Angeles, where he lived for several years, gaining valuable experience in architecture, design and production design. He now works in Europe between Milan, Paris and Athens and teaches on the design and interior architecture courses at the Academy of Fine Arts in Verona.
Cover photo: Palazzo Montanari, courtesy of Accademia di Belle Arti di Verona