Stories Behind: The Plusminus Collection

A study in physics and material finesse, Plusminus evokes the fluidity and flow of light. Far beyond the traditional filament bulbs and conventional LED lamps, the collection by Diez Office aspires to outline the future of lighting design by making light malleable and tactile, safe to hold in your hands, and capable of being rearranged to suit changing needs; with a simple –only in appearance– textile ribbon.

It all began back in 2018, with a briefing from Vibia’s CEO Pere Llonch looking for a concept based in connecting positive and negative. With that in mind, and slowly getting under his skin, Stefan Diez’s challenge was to power a lamp and strip away conventional cabling.

“The way I see my job is close to being a magician. It’s about creating a fascination by making things disappear, or making the impossible easy. I don’t like it when things look like too much effort”

Breaking with many of the cardinal principles of lighting design, the system proposed by the Munich-based studio wanted to create lighting that carried the flow of electricity through the room itself, conducting it along textile ribbons pulled taut into strict geometric arrangements, or else dropped into swirling loops whose arcs would be prescribed by basic physics.

“I like using gravity as a force, with material as a counter-force. The dialogue between the two usually gives you nice shapes”

Vibia The Edit - Flowing Pendants with Plusminus
Vibia The Edit - Flowing Pendants with Plusminus

Developing the Plusminus original concept posed a second functional challenge. The strip had to lead electricity with no sign of hidden conductivity and to allow users to clip or unclip as many luminaries as desired without getting a shock.

Together with a Berlin-based textile prototyping lab, we built up different weavering patterns, layering yarns in a way that the conductive threads would be unnoticed in a remarkably even final textile.

Vibia The Edit - Meridiano: when furniture meets lighting
Vibia The Edit - Stories Behind: The Plusminus Collection

With playfulness at its core as if it were a game for kids, and a groundbreaking show of versatility, Plusminus, notes Díez, “is a toolkit you can use to solve many different problems, so there is not an immediate promise of success. You have to prove it”.

Vibia The Edit - Stories Behind: The Plusminus Collection
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