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Binic by Ionna Vautrin

A desk lamp inspired by sailboats in Brittany

by Paolo Ferrarini in Design on 20 December 2011

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Exactly one year ago, Foscarini launched the Binic, a charming little lamp by French designer Ionna Vautrin. With an overarching nautical theme, the name comes from a small lighthouse on the coast of Vautrin's hometown of Brittany, France and the shape is inspired by the wind sock of a ship.

With its diminutive stature and quirky aesthetic, the Binic still commands a distinct presence on the desktop. The base is in satin aluminum, while the projector is made of glossy polycarbonate, enclosed in a simple inclined screen that gently spreads the light. Made in Italy, the lamp has been a bestseller over the course of the year, not to mention an award-winner—Binic was named "Best Table Light 2011" at the Wallpaper Design Awards.

We caught up with Vautrin to talk about her instantly beloved piece.

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Binic is a object that almost becomes a character—was that intentional?

I like the idea of an object that is incarnated, nearly personified. Binic was originally inspired by wind socks but in the process it became more alive. But anyone can find his own personal reference.

You have a very special sensibility for colors, how did that come about?

I don't know if it's a special sensibility, but I always had fun working on it. The color is fundamental for a project, it's not something I would ignore. To me it's important as the definition of the shape or the choice of materials and finishings.

What other projects are you are working on?

The Cyclope Mirror and the collection of vases have recently been produced by Moustache. Actually I'm working on a few different projects: a collection of bags for Nava Design, some big fabric animals for Kvadrat and a personal exhibition at the Tools Galerie in Paris.

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Binic is available in 2,800 design shops and distributed in 88 countries across the world. For more information head to Foscarini online.

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