International eco-designer Alice Tedesco’s work revolves around unique lighting concepts. Her most recent project, ExMoon, recently won an A’Design Award in Lighting Products plus the Lighting Projects Design categories by the International Design Academy.
By Hannah Rachel Carroll, Photos by Giorgia Amodio and Andrea Tedesco
Before unveiling her work, interior designer Alice Tedesco walks through the space and pretends to see it for the first time. If the ambiance is right, she deems it ready.
“It is the most important piece of the puzzle,” she explains.
Born in Sicily, Tedesco isn’t like most in her industry: beautiful lighting is always her focus. She creates exquisite lighting concepts and builds entire designs around them.
For her latest hospitality project, which transformed the BellaVista Restaurant in Sicily, Tedesco dreamed of bringing the moon down to earth. She collaborated with Italian artist and designer Oçilunam to create five moon-replica lights of varying sizes – some as large as five feet – to hang throughout the café.
“BellaVista sits on a calm beach on the Strait of Sicily,” she says. “I wanted to enhance its natural beauty and charm. I thought big yellow moons – the ones that take up the sky and make you stop and stare – would be an elegant addition to the restaurant’s established look and feel. Plus, I think the moon and the beach are a lovely combination — especially at dusk.”
The realistic moons are made of Nebulite®, a specially developed material made of resins and fibers that mimics the uneven, softly luminescent qualities of the lunar surface. Tedesco also hung 150 dimmable frosted-globe LED light bulbs, crafted by local electricians and artisans, in the adjoining cocktail lounge. The bulbs hang at seven different heights from aluminum rails, mimicking a starry night sky.
To complete the project, Tedesco lined the nearby beach with her signature lighting product: the Sframe. Made of handcrafted stainless steel with integrated LED lights and a reinforced, welded mesh top, Sframe is an innovative table which doubles as a light. Measuring 20” high x 20” wide, it can be used as a stool or a side table, and easily transforms the outdoor experience while reducing light pollution.
“You often have to choose in Sicily: see the stars, or your cocktail,” she says. “Light pollution is a big problem here, especially near the coast where popular bars and restaurants are. I wanted to help resolve that, so I created Sframe. It releases a warm, low light and doesn’t affect the landscape.”
Tedesco’s passion for ecodesign – a way to create that considers the environmental and social impact of the design practice – developed in college.
“I go to great lengths to work in the most sustainable way possible,” she explains. “I reuse production elements, I collaborate with companies that use energy-efficient technologies, I source locally as much as possible, both in workforce and materials, to avoid unnecessary transportation and strain on the local economy. It makes my design process more difficult since I must be aware of every little detail, but I don’t care. It is important to me.”
Since earning a master’s degree in Ecodesign from the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the Polytechnic University of Milan, Tedesco has cultivated a portfolio with commercial and residential work featured in Argentina, Brazil, Milan, Palermo, and Sicily. She currently resides in New York City, and works as a restaurant and kitchen designer.
“This work is my passion,” she says. “I am Sicilian, so naturally, I love food. My entire life has revolved around the kitchen. When I design these special spaces, I feel truly connected to my culture and who I am as a person.”