ISP lamp by Ilia Sergeevich Potemine for DCW Edition
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
This is not just a lamp. It is light itself. Look at the future: it’s there in your hand. That is the genius of its inventor. Ilia Sergeevich Potemine is Russian. Better still, he’s Italian-Russian : the original double agent. You may think he’s a designer. In reality he’s an airline pilot. The sky is his playground, the sun a revolutionary star and he has only dropped in on this earth for the time it takes for a quick layover. For the time it takes to design the extraordinary lights that are in complete contrast with what the mainstream is doing. Flashback: for a nanosecond Howard Hughes comes to mind. And Potemine has taken off again. No law, no order. Except perhaps Achille Castiglioni who was the original radical, inventing the lights of the future at a time when creativity was bound only by time and space. Ilia Potemine, just 30 years old, is in the same vein. His ISP lamp is rooted in the same manifesto and defies classification. Designed in conscious opposition to the standard artefacts of our time, Potemine’s lamp is more like a beautiful torch, like the baton passed between the runners in a race that counts only the enlightened and initiated among its participants. Reminiscent of a Nautilus or a HAL, this ark for housing light comes with its own mythology, a minimalist interpretation of the injunction to ‘Let there be Light’.
No more bulbs. Certainly no switches. Its technical aspects occupied an engineer full time for 18 months. Hoods are usually for hiding engines. The hood of the ISP is a fuselage. Back to airplanes. Investigating the interior is akin to entering a new dimension in lighting design. Like a piece of kryptonite-light you remove with your bare hands from its brass sheath, before revolving it a full 360° and then encapsulating it once again when it is no longer needed. Lighting. Extinguishing. None before Poutemine has pushed lighting to such extremes. The simplest of movements and a science fiction dream becomes a palpable reality. The gesture takes on a physical and mystical reality: like a 21st Century flint sitting on a marble ramp the ISP lamp takes on the aura of a spatial beam.
100 years after Malevitch – himself a former industrial designer for the railways – Ilia Sergeevich Potemine has invented a new avant-garde: the constructivISP. The ultimate in design purity. The last modern adventure has just begun.