You're not seeing things: the new Moooi chandelier does look like a BMW headlight

Munich – It's not a coincidence that the launch of Iconic Eyes, Moooi's new chandelier, is being launched close to the heart of the German auto industry — yes, the occuli resemble BMW headlings. The new eye-catcher was created by Bavaria-born, Munich-based interior architect Bernhard Dessecker, a former Ingo Maurer designer.

One of the new Moooi Moments events, which launch products year-round in the brand's signature celebratory and scenographic way, the introduction is taking place at the Bavarian National Museum in Munich, where 11 Iconic Eyes will go on view permanently.

Dessecker combined two assignments — one for the museum, which needed a pendant for its new foyer, and the other for BMW, which wanted a light made from their signature head or tail-light components — into one modern but elegant fixture. At two sizes, with either 85 or 161 eyes, its LED lights emphasise the ceiling and floor details and can be adjusted to various scenarios, while its reflective chrome rings help integrate the chandelier into any space.

We spoke with the designer about the influence of the auto industry in this product, and how the light builds character into any interior.

You grew up close to centre of the German auto industry in Bavaria?
BERNHARD DESSECKER: Yes, but I did not have any special connection with BMW during my childhood. I liked the BMW v8 and their motorcycles, but I didn’t own a BMW car until 2013, when I lived in Texas. I had, until recently, an old 1972 BMW R60/5 classic motorcycle. But passing the BMW headquarters in Munich in my father’s car, I always liked their modern building, one of the first high-rise buildings in Munich.

What about the design of Iconic Eyes makes it feel like a Moooi product to you?
The feedback for the product was so good, and Ingo Maurer was interested in producing it, but I didn’t want to make any changes, as he suggested. Since I found Moooi unconventional, I approached Marcel Wanders and he responded immediately. His only condition was that it should look as close to the original prototype as possible.

The lights are moulded in an oval shape and create an ambient glow that is reinforced by bright rings of light. How is each eye made?  
In the beginning, Marcel wanted to use original BMW parts, but since I had built three prototypes with original parts, I knew that it would not be feasible for serial production. So we decided to make it a single eye element — looking almost exactly like the original lens — which I designed from different BMW parts and then translated into a new lighting element. Each eye contains a head sink, an LED circuit board, the lens and the ring around the lens. The ring gets its light from a light-guide technology, similar to the original BMW ring.

Location  Bavarian National Museum, Prinzregentenstraße 3, 80539 Munich

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