Rubén Saldaña Acle-zen Spotlight, Interior Luminaire

At Design Interviews

Interview with Rubén Saldaña Acle : Frank Scott: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : Technically it has to perfectly fulfill the function or purpose for which it has been designed. Aesthetically it has to be original, innovative.. but not ostentatious; proportionate, balanced, simple but sophisticated, timeless. Qualitatively it has to be flawless, every detail should be carefully treated and there must be rigor within the selection of finishes and materials. .Frank Scott: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : In the briefing, the idea behind this concept was to design a spot light which offered the same performance as traditional 100W halogen spot lights but with LED instead; achieving like this, the maximum efficiency with a 90% of energy saving. Furthermore, basing on the fact that spotlights are usualy voluminous and intrusive, the objective was to design a product which had the smallest possible dimensions, with pure, neutral and timeless lines, including a great variety of finishing options for its most voluminous part so that it could be customized. These finishing options which can even be made out of natural wood such as iroko, ash or walnut, allow Zen to integrate perfectly in the environments where it is installed, without generating an invasive presence to the interior design of the places where it is located. Moreover, the intention was to design a very versatile product that would satisfy all customers' needs. Depending on the amount of light needed, Zen is available in 3 different powers and each power offers up to 2 different color temperature options; warm light (3000K) or cold light (4000K). In addition the customer can choose between 3 different types of reflectors varying the beam's angle from Flood to Medium or Spot. .Frank Scott: What are your future plans for this award winning design?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : Due to its great success we are discussing about the possibility to expand this product line... We'll design a larger and more powerful version maybe. .Frank Scott: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : It took me about 3 months.. .Frank Scott: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : LED technology is in constant evolution.. I decided to design this type of product when it became viable, I mean, when LED technology could equate to halogen lamps or even to halide lamps in terms of light output. Thanks to the LED, all standards of lighting products can be redefined; taking advantage of it and of its great energy saving, it was just the right moment to go ahead with such design. .Frank Scott: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : This product is produced and distributed only by Arkoslight. .Frank Scott: What made you design this particular type of work?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : Answerd in Q5. .Frank Scott: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : There are always historical references to look back when trying to improve actual products, however the technology change from halogen or any other to LED, made this design shift away from traditional products. We could't have much influence. .Frank Scott: Who is the target customer for his design?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : Lighting designers, architects and interior designers. .Frank Scott: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : The spotlight's head had the challenge to integrate the LED's heatsink; component which usually comes to be quite unaesthetic... In order to integrate it completely within the aesthetic of the product, it was designed to be a continuation of the spotlight's head. Smooth and progressive lines made the spotlight's heatsink look like the trace left behind by a rake in a Japaneese ZEN garden. There's where the name comes from. .Frank Scott: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : Explained in Q10. .Frank Scott: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : Many sketches were done in the first stage of the product's design in order to achieve the desired aesthetic. In a second stage, in order to scale and fit together every component, the product was dimensioned using 3D programs. Furthermore, thermal calculating programs were used to obtain the best possible aesthetic-functional ratio for the LED's heatsink. Finally, many sintered prototypes were made to validate proportions, volumes and components assembly, as well as many other finishing tests checking textures, colours and materials in order to define the product's final aspect. .Frank Scott: What is the most unique aspect of your design?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : I would say... the possibility to be able to customize the box part of the product with any material, even with any kind of natural wood if it is previously demanded. .Frank Scott: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : Yes, ofcourse, the help provided by one of my Design department members, Jerónimo Miralles; whose meticulosity and hability with many different softwares is faultless, was vital to accomplish the design in a record time. .Frank Scott: What is the role of technology in this particular design?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : This product is technology itself. It's a very technical product with sophisticated components and with much engineering behind its design. .Frank Scott: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : Before starting the design we did an exhaustive labour of gathering technical information in order to find the perfect balance between design and functionality. .Frank Scott: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : On one hand we had to check the correct heat dissipation in order to guarantee the LED's lifetime as well as its eficiency; bearing in mind it is a product which is able to rotate, its heat behaviour is different on every position. On the other hand... the fact that we had to integrate on a single product many different possibilities and variants without modifying the final design. .Frank Scott: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : This product was a very brave bet from Arkoslight as it is a type of product in which the business it's not specialised and there had been a strong investment behind. The design was a great success and all the positive comments from our customers pushed us to submit the product to various international design contests. We are extremely proud that ZEN has been awarded with 3 international design awards. .Frank Scott: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : You always learn new things with every new project because every new project offers a new solution. .Frank Scott: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?. Rubén Saldaña Acle : Form follows function... .

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