by PIN–UP HOME, Rachel Hahn

PIN–UP HOME and GRAU’s installation at Fragile Berlin

PIN–UP HOME collaborators Timon and Melchior Grau

PIN–UP HOME and GRAU celebrated their limited edition Salt Leaf, with an event at Fragile Berlin, an independent art space on Leipziger Strasse. Juliana Huxtable provided the music while guests were sipping on dry martinis and negronis, courtesy of Nio Cocktails.

For the occasion, artists and GRAU creative directors Timon and Melchior Grau explained their uncompromising passion for light.

Plants bend towards the sun, a biological instinct that invokes a greater, cross-species truth: light is necessary for life. But to artists Timon and Melchior Grau, the brothers behind the interdisciplinary German lighting design company, light is more than just a symbol for existence itself. It can become “an emotional medium that elevates feelings,” as they tell PIN–UP. GRAU’s products translate the warm glow of a candle or a sunset’s wash of pastels to domestic lighting, taking to heart the correlation between the quality of light and one’s well-being in their designs. Salt Leaf, GRAU’s collaboration with PIN–UP HOME, continues this pursuit of wellness via illumination, giving GRAU’s mobile light, Salt, a vibrant new colorway: a grasshopper-green inspired by photosynthesis. The lamp’s touch-activated Sunset Dimming feature creates three soft hues — Clear Light, Golden Light, and Sunset Orange — that have been proven to increase the production of melatonin and induce a calming effect on the mind and body (the Graus call it a “sunset in your hands”). “The world needs more light, more hope, more compassion,” the Grau brothers say. Salt Leaf is a fresh start.

Melchior Grau, Yasmina Hammal-Grau, Timon Grau, and Jonas Wendelin

What does light mean to you?

Light is a symbol of life and hope, it can fully transform the way we feel. A light can express warmth, compassion, and openness. Every person has the potential to be a light and to share this light with others. What differentiates a GRAU lamp is this philosophy of the light source as an emotional medium that elevates feelings.

What is the relationship between light and home?

Light can make a home. The earliest form of home is fire, a home is a feeling of warmth. If you have a space and only one beautiful warm light, you can feel at home. GRAU lights create good vibes and inspire people to interact more with light. Salt is a smart and portable lamp that moves within the home. We use it at the breakfast table, on the sofa watching films, and always at our bedside when we fall asleep.

What is the relationship between light and the body?

Light constantly influences our body, well-being, and circadian rhythm. The quality and color of light have a strong effect on the body. In the evening, for example, it is essential to avoid any blue light to allow your body to relax and prepare for a healthy sleep. After many years of research, we developed our new Sunset Dimming feature, which has a proven calming effect for the body and mind. Sunset Dimming stimulates melatonin release by integrating deep-orange light waves without blue light. You must experience it in person, for us Sunset Dimming is a game-changer.

PIN–UP HOME collaborator Shayne Oliver

Artist Juliana Huxtable

PIN–UP HOME co-founder Felix Burrichter with Martti Kalliala

What is the difference between object and sculpture?

Following the logic of conceptual art, we would say it’s up to the beholder. Many differentiate design from art bythe presence or absence of a pragmatic purpose. But this popular distinction is relatively new; over the course of cultural history, most objects carried utlitarian, spiritual, and expressive values simultaneously. At GRAU we develop objects that are useful and contemplative at the same time. We acknowledge the pragmatic importance of our sensuality. Your feelings have purpose. Light is a magical medium, and a great light is a piece of art that immerses your senses.

What is the idea behind Salt?

Salt is the first mobile light completely designed for well-being. Salt is well-being, wherever you are. With Salt, we want to show people that a lamp can be an emotional tool, allowing you to create moments that feel magical and enrich your mood.