The obligatory design-related Christmas lights story
Teresa Sapey lights up Calle Serrano in Madrid - beat that Marmite!
In design geography terms, Teresa Sapey is Patricia Urquiola’s polar opposite. Whereas Urquiola is a Spaniard based in Italy, Sapey is an Italian living and working in Spain. She’s been in Madrid for more than 20 years, producing pleasing interiors and such like.
But Christmas has come early for her design studio, with the switching on of the festive streetlights on Calle Serrano, one of the capital’s smartest shopping boulevards. The use of a designer or architect to create an illuminated display is a seasonal tradition. Sapey got lucky with this key street in the deluxe neighbourhood of Serrano.
The Italian’s solution was to warm up the grey environs with a succession of colourful geometric designs. According to her studio: “Her designs have a countless amount of colours combined with circle shapes. Each one is different from the others, forming a sequence of drawings that can be seen from both sides.”
So while from a distance they look like illuminated vinyl records, on closer inspection passers-by notice that each one has its own unique pattern and colour scheme. There’s a high density of light and colour here, but Sapey has considerately used LED bulbs, to help cut down on energy consumption.
They’re a far cry from the brand-sponsored offerings of London’s Oxford Street. This year, Marmite has coughed up, hence the moving image of Santa taking a bite of an appropriately-filled sandwich.