A Chicago architect and a San Francisco sociologist illuminate the Windy City with Kodama "Lights for the Soul."
Blending natural materials and therapeutic LED light, Kodama lamps mimic the warm colors of a sunrise.
Imagine rising in the morning and retiring in the evening in sync with the sun, a warm glow filling your living space instead of glaring fluorescent lamps and blue lights from digital devices. Kodama, a lighting collection from Chicago native and Harvard School of Architecture graduate Matt Fiely and sociologist Alexandria Vasquez, aims to create that experience, bringing natural, meditative light to modern spaces.
With a high-design aesthetic, Kodama’s handmade lamps combine local resources like North American black walnut wood with eco-friendly, therapeutic LED light to emit shades you’d find in the earth and sky, like calming pinks and subtle oranges that mimic the sunrise and the warm hues of a fire. The idea’s origin? Fiely’s Harvard Master’s thesis on Alzheimer’s facilities underscored the need for therapeutic-grade lighting (he also studied furniture design at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen), while Vasquez was working on her PhD in sociology and as an interior designer at Luminaire in River North.
“We began intuitively designing lighting that affects one’s state of mind,” Vasquez says. “[We’re] on a journey to create space that is health-promoting and natural, while also minimal and humble.”
Kodama can be found at yoga, tai chi, and holistic health centers throughout Chicago—but we imagine there’s nothing like a slice of the sky right in the heart of the home.