LED Orchids in Full Bloom

Experienced lighting designer Hiroki Takada speaks about his award winning LED luminaire Orchids at Lighting Japan 2014 that took place at Tokyo Big Sight from Jan. 15 to 17, Tokyo, Japan. Takada, who is also the founder of Takada Design, has been designing luminaires since 1999. Takada is now a Lecturer of Nagoya Art University.

Hiroki Takada, Founder of Takada Design
Founder of Takada Design Hiroki Takada and his latest LED luminaire design Orchid. (LEDinside)

Lin: Can you talk a bit about your background?

Takada: I first started making lighting designs in 1999. As you can see at the time the light was a very traditional Japanese lighting. The light was normal incandescent bulb at the time. It wasn’t until 2002 when I first began making lamps with Italian company Martinelli Luce, which has a windmill design. It was then that I started having good success in lighting.

Top: Takada's first luminaire design from 1999 is a very traditional Japanese light that uses incandescent bulbs. Bottom: Takada's Windmill design typed luminaire for Italian company Martinelli Luce. (LEDinside)

Lin: What is your design concept?

Takada: My motif is flowers and nature, nature and culture and traditional. For me function and shape are together, it’s a very Japanese way of thinking. The petal for Orchid for instance can be plucked off, and as you can see the cooling system is on the clip here for the petals.

Takada's Orchid has a very elegant design. (LEDinside)

Lin: How did you come up with the Orchid design? Why orchids?

Takada: The first time I visited Nagoya City, I was invited to the opening party of Toyota. The company displayed these really beautiful orchids at the entrance, and I thought they are so beautiful. You know, in a lot of Asian ceremony they tend to display orchids, and I just thought it was very beautiful and came up with the idea.

I based the design on a flora design luminaire that I made for an Italian company Panzeri. The Orchid uses the same petal design as that project.

The luminaire was first displayed at 2008 Tokyo Designer Week, and at the time I used very low level LED. Then many European press and others noticed, and I was awarded 100% Designer Awards for this design. After that the luminaire became a permanent collection at Museum of Art and Design (MAD) in New York, U.S.

Orchid by Hiroki Takada
Up close of Orchid petals reveals tiny LED lights embedded in the petals. (LEDinside)

Lin: What are the materials used for this luminaire?

Takada: Each petal uses six 1W LEDs. You can also see the interlock and branch is made of stainless mesh, which is similar to microphone stand. The petal is made out of polycarbonate.

Lin: What is the most difficult part of designing the Orchid?

Takada: The flower petals are very difficult to make. It is very difficult to make the petals the same every time.

For designs in general, it is always very difficult to bring the image into realization. I keep thinking how to make and what materials to use. The challenge is bringing new things into realization.

Lights emitted by Orchid displayed at Lighting Japan 2014. (LEDinside)

Lin: Will you be mass producing Orchids anytime soon?

Takada: No. Only limited edition of 10 Orchids are made so far all handmade by me in Japan. I sell the luminaire at US$ 700 with shipping costs.  

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