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Samba-M Shines Again With Ambientec

Ambientec reissues Samba-M, Shiro Kuramata’s glass goblet full of light.

The Japanese brand, specialized in elegant and portable lamps, draws on its exceptional technological skill to mass-produce this fascinating objet d’art.

This cultural and technological statement was entrusted to Ambientec by the prestigious Gallery Tamura Joe, under the supervision of the Kuramata Design Office, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Shiro Kuramata’s death.

Shiro Kuramata was one of the most important designers of the 20th century. His work was strongly influenced by surrealism and contemporary art, full of a free-spirited playfulness that stands in stark contrast to the efficiency-focused, market-oriented mainstream design of today. Drawing inspiration for a lamp from a common wine glass, an ordinary object found in every home, was a challenge.

The story of SAMBA-M illustrates how it cannot be reduced to a mere tool for illuminating the darkness, and is instead a true objet d’art. The original idea for the piece came in 1988, at the vernissage of the exhibition “In-Spiration”, when Kuramata surprised the guests (including Ron Arad and Zaha Hadid, both still unknown) by putting a bright red light in his glass of champagne. A playful gesture, but far from a simple joke: what Kuramata wanted to convey was the appeal of a design that existed in the space between products and artistic vision.

When SAMBA-M was first introduced in 1988, it was very difficult and expensive to produce, and only a small number were made available to the public. Today, Ambientec brings this whimsical piece back to life, ready to be touched, used and enjoyed: a goblet made of thin and double-layered glass, integrated with advanced LED technology. It lights up in shades of red at the softest touch, evoking the iridescent tones of the wine the Maestro raised in a toast to the vernissage forty years ago.

Like all Ambientec portable lamps, the Samba-M reissue is waterproof, rechargeable and powered by a long-lasting lithium-ion battery.