Arihiro Miyake’s Coppelia Chandelier
for Moooi
July 8, 2017

There are two distinct camps in the world of lighting: Those who show the cord, and those who hide it. Some prefer to highlight the raw, industrial features of the engineering marvels we call lights, while others prefer to tuck it away, keeping the aesthetic pure and simple, refined. Then there are designers like Arihiro Miyake, who magically take the lighting mechanics and make them the most beautiful part of the fixture.

With Coppelia, I wanted to transmit electricity through the structure itself, with positive and negative wires crossing each other. I came to the shape to bring that idea to something people can grasp

Miyake developed the Coppelia chandelier with Dutch brand Moooi, bold and daring innovators frequently working well outside the box.

Born in 1975 in Kobe, Japan, Miyake earned his Industrial Design degree from Kobe Design University in Japan, beginning his career as an interior designer for several Japanese restaurants, which now includes Tooth Tooth in Tokyo and Helsinki Bakery in Osaka.

My time in Japan was very busy, lots of studying, but I wasn’t interested in the basic academic path. Art was where I excelled. It’s something you don’t prepare for, it comes naturally.

Looking to expand his horizons, Miyake moved to Helsinki, founding Studio Arihiro Miyake, focused on a diverse range of products, exhibition and commercial spaces. The dawn of LED and the exciting new technology that has since evolved pulled Miyake into the world of lighting.

When I began having an interest in lighting, it was because of LED. As a creative person, I’m more interested in making than consuming. I like making useful things, not just attractive things.

The Coppelia chandelier manages to check both boxes: Useful and beautiful. The name itself comes from the famous ballet choreographed by Arthur Saint-Leon, in which a ballerina poses as a doll. The shape and form of Coppelia come from the after-image of the ballerina’s movements, imprinted into a tangible form like a fixture moments after turning out the lights. Elegance in electricity.

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