landscape and architectural lighting designers
In 1998, three French designers met in Beirut, the Middle East’s most chaotically creative capital, with the task of finding new ways to light a traditional Lebanese house. The result was a series of innovative East-is-West illuminants that blurred the line between objet d’art and light fixture. Spurred by their success, the trio - Christophe Hascoët, Annabel Karim-Kassar and Isabelle Rolland - continued to collaborate informally until 2003, when they formed CAÏ. This creative cooperative is dedicated to exploring light in all its possibilities.
With their combined experience in architecture, interior, furniture and lighting design, they considers the light-object as the key means to produce space and atmosphere but treat lights as more than a simple fixtures. Their designs are driven by the belief that the play of shadow and light is one of the most effective means of transforming space. For CAÏ, light is also architecture, a way to create what they like to call a ‘luminous atmosphere’.
As well as working alongside some of leading architects and interior designers, Caï-light is also producing its own unique ranges of products.
They are designers and productors of lighting fixtures and centre pieces.
Caï-light products are manufactured from high performance materials; specifications are precise and comply with European and UL standards.
Caï-light products have caught the eye of the international media and have been featured in publications such as:
- Caï-light creates these “luminous atmospheres” with a watchfull reading of the context : architecture, urban monuments or natural sites. And then realizes the projects with high performance technology.
- Caï-light acts with the same sensibility and comprehension in landscape or architectural lighting.
- Caï-light studies can anticipate and help the architectural design concept.
- Sunday Times
- New York Times
- Casa Vogue Elle Déco
- House and Garaden
Younes Bldg, sami el solh street, p.o.box 113285 beirut lebanon
t +961 1 982 982
f +961 1 985 400
DUBAI OFFICE ( Cai representative office /Annaka Dubai)
Annaka fzco, dubai airport freezone east 6B p.o.box 293664 Dubai, U.A.E
t +971 4 299 32 88
f +971 4 299 32 89
Light is the element I would like to make visibly persistent..., but in order to be visible, light needs matter, therefore the creation of supports. These supports are materialized into collections of light objects and reflective or emmitive surfaces.
Though my thinking evolves in diverse ways, but the main questions I ask myself are the following: What would I like to see? What really moves me? What would be the most capturing sensation? What would be the most correct answer?... and then: how to incorporate, treat, ignore or twist the specificities and the constraints related to the framework of the project (geographical, programmatic, budgetary, etc ...).
My objective is the binary pairing of "visual impact / sense", this is achieved in a reasoned sensible frame.
ANNABEL KARIM KASSAR
In the summer of 1994, standing in the remains of Beirut's National Museum, surrounded by precious artefacts still encased in their wartime protective concrete shells, Annabel Karim Kassar was declared joint winner* in the competition for the reconstruction of the Downtown Beirut souks. If this distinction was conferred as a reward for her meticulous meld of memory and modernity, which breathed new life into the pathways inscribed both in the former street plan of the city and in the memories of Beirut's inhabitants, for Annabel it also symbolized a triumph of a more personal nature.
The subsequent and agonizingly slow death of Beirut affected her so deeply that her sorrow and grief prevented her from returning to the city she now considered her second home. Now, by being able to participate in the rebirth of the city that had so enraptured her heart, Annabel was finally able to exorcise the ghosts that had kept her from returning to Lebanon. After years of separation, almost exile, the souk project marked the end of one journey and the beginning of another. At the beginning of her career, Annabel worked for the Paris Municipality and several important Parisian architectural practices, amongst them the bureaux of Marcel Breuer and Stanislas Fiszer. In 1982, she opened her own studio and began work on a number of projects both in Paris and elsewhere in France. These encompassed the public sector (crèche facilities, offices) and also the industrial and hotel sectors. Until today, the architect always accords the materials, textures and colours the attention they deserve. Far from being merely decorative, these details are carefully determined at the start of each project and possibly even act as catalysts. For those who visit Annabel Karim Kassar's Beirut bureau today, this sensitivity is vividly illustrated in the cosy coexistence of both natural and artificial materials, a mixed marriage that stimulates the creativity of her team. In1998 while renovating a traditional Lebanese house Annabel Karim Kassar, Christophe Hascoët (lightingdesigner) and Isabelle Rolland (architect) met together to study the lighting. Since then, they decided to work together and to this end created CAÏ - Collective Creation - in 2002. CAÏ deals with lighting, objets from conception to production, in various aspects. The creation of lighting is just the continuity of Annabel Karim Kassar's work. She had already integrated in her architectural activity, the design of furniture (Annaka).
Isabelle Rolland is an architect (EAN dplg. 1995). She studied in Nantes (France) and Venice (Italy) (Aldo Rossi studio), and worked in London (UK) (DavidChipperfieldarchitects). In Nantes, she actively participated in Oxymore (an architecture association) where she used to write for the Oxymore' fanzine*, produced performances and installations, and organized exhibitions, hence carrying out a sensitive and critical research on architecture. In 1996, Isabelle Rolland joined Chritophe Hascoët in Paris where they started a collaboration that continued till present. In the same time, she was a publishing assistant at Sens & Tonka, éditeurs where she could put into execution the ideas that she had, and where her work was shifted from the mere "thinking" to the "implementation": a demanding task in the architecture and design fields that starts with the idea of a book, goes through its production and communication up to its publishing. The "lighting" projects that she undertook with Christophe Hascoët allowed her to intensify her travels.
CAI PRESS RELEASE
- "Une maison en Technicolor”", Deco magazine, Decembre 2009 p.235-241
- "Picture Perfeet", Brown Book # 10, (U.A.E), August 2008, p. 65-73
- "Animals Inspired Design", Trends Now, (Net), 2008
- "Wish List", Society Dubai, (U.A.E), September 2008, p. 74
- "Trip the Light Fantastic", Design Crisis, (Net), August 2008
- "Trophy: Unique lighting for your living room", Living Room, (Net), January 2008
- "Trophäe", H.O.M.E., (Deutschland), August 2008
- "An Aladin’s cave of design", Decoration, (U.A.E), November 2007, Cover
- "Everything … was evoked at this year’s", Urbis Magazine, (U.S.A), September 2007
- "Ursnygga lampor", Mitt Stockholm, (Sweden), September 2007
- "Wild, styled and gleefully cruelty-free", Los Angeles Times, (U.S.A), January 2007
- "Architecture and Design Department tops this year's list of design's 40 biggest influencers", I.D.#40, (U.S.A), January 2007, p. 71
- In this issue Caï-light is selected has one on the 40 biggest influencers design company.
- "Wish List" Society Dubai, (U.A.E), February 2007, p. 64
- "It’s a Wrap", Metropolitan Home, (UK), February 2007, p. 120
- "Horns O’Plenty", I.D., (U.S.A), November 2006
- "By Design", New Jersey Live, (U.S.A), October 2006, p. 20
- "Product Gallery", Display & Design Ideas, (U.S.A), October 2006
- "Almaz by Momo", Metropolis Magazine, (U.S.A), July 2006
- "Modern furniture goes with grain at NY show”, Metropolis Magazine, (U.S.A), January 2006
- "Living-Handson",Vogue, (UK), January 2006
- "High-Lights", BOLZ, (UK), January 2006
- "Des meubles qui déclinent l'ARC-EN-CIEL", Marie Claire Maison, (France), April 2005, p. 170
- "Trophée, Deflex", Experimeta #53, (Spain), October 2005, p129
- Design Diffusion News, (Italia) nr. 1232005 January 2005, p. 132-134
- Officiel (Russia), Nov – December 2005, p. 206
- Deco Home, (the Netherlands), Nov - December 2005, p137-138
- "Libanese attitude", Cote Sud, (France), Aug - September 2005, p90
- "Insider shopping", House & Garden, (U.K), February 2005, p38
- "CAÏ, quand la lumière prend vie", Harmonies, (Lebanon), Dec - February 2005, p. 86-87
- "Exhibition London", 100% Design London, Salon interior, (Russia), January 2005, p. 66
- "100% Design London", Digest Exhibition, AD Architectural Digest, (Russia), Dec - January 2005, p. 60
- "interview by Antony Hoete from What Architecture", Monument magazine, (Monument Magazine challenges (Australia), explores and discovers the most exciting ideas and projects in design and architecture today), 2004,
- "East meets West", International design, Inside Outside, (The Indian design magazine), December 2004, p. 42-43-44
- "In breve", Design News, Elle Decor, (Italia), December 2004, p. 44
- "Stocking by CAÏ ", Giving it 100%, id FX, (UK), September 2004, p. 58-59
- "Some of finest design at this year's ICFF", FRAME #40, (The Netherlands), sept - october. 2004, p.160
- "Design dream", CASA Vogue, n°20, supplemento al n°646 di VOGUE, (Italia), June 2004, p.14
- "Le design à maison et objet", Salons, Déco magazine Architecture & Design, (France) March - June 2004, p. 34
- "Absolute Loft", Décorations, Déco magazine, Architecture & Design, (France), March - June 2004, p. 96-97
- "Beirut Gets Its Groove Back", House & Home, the New York Times, (U.S.A), March 2004, p. 8
- "Light my fire", Life style 2 inter space lighting, Aïshti and You, (Lebanon), Dec - Jan 2003, p. 148