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With Plusminus, Diez Office and Vibia collapse the distinctions between traditional lighting typologies like pendants and floor lamps. Rather than approaching a lighting design as a single stand-alone object, their ultra-flexible system imagines it as something more akin to a charm bracelet covered in ornaments.

At the heart of their concept is a special polyester belt threaded with copper wire. Designed to conduct electricity (but still safe to touch), this band provides the structural backbone for an entire kit of lighting parts. Six luminaire fittings allow cones, spheres and other simple geometric shades to easily clip onto the fabric and deliver various styles of task or mood lighting. Additional mounting components work to secure the belt to ceilings or walls, allowing for myriad spatial configurations.

There’s a sense of fun that softens the strong conceptual ideas behind it.
Thom Fougere, AZ Awards Juror 2023

When pulled taut, the fabric strip can be installed horizontally below a ceiling like a track system, hung vertically like a thin, soft take on a structural column or suspended diagonally as a form of room divider. But the real magic happens when the belt is draped loose between two anchors, creating expressive, ribbon-like loops. Ultimate dexterity is the point: Thanks to its innovative clip-and-connect system, a Plusminus light might act like a ceiling sconce one minute, only to be detached and reinstalled as a reading lamp a moment later. The design also overcomes one of lighting’s biggest limitations: the need for a room’s lamps to be laid out according to the placement of existing electrical infrastructure. 

To that end, installation is incredibly straightforward, with options to connect the belt by surface canopy, by recessed or remote surface canopy, or via direct plug-in. A range of finishes — including four fabric colours and five aluminum shades — add to the design’s customizability. 

Lighting has long been an industry defined by major technical milestones, from Edison’s introduction of the light bulb to the invention of LEDs and the free-form shapes that followed. Plusminus represents another significant step forward, radically transforming the way that lights are installed in a room — and, in the process, the role that illumination plays in spatial design.

Winner: Lighting Fixtures
People’s Choice: Lighting Fixtures

With Plusminus, Diez Office and Vibia collapse the distinctions between traditional lighting typologies like pendants and floor lamps.

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