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Behind the Design: IC Air by Modern Fan Company

IC/Air 2 by The Modern Fan Company

Behind the Design: IC/Air by
Guto Indio Da Costa for Modern Fan Company

With a silhouette that modernist dreams are made of (and leading technology to boot), The Modern Fan Company’s latest ceiling fan brings a sleek Brazilian design to the U.S.

Written by Sarah Schaale

The Modern Fan Company has lived its truth since 1986. That was the year that founder Ron Rezek was approached with the idea of updating the then 100-year-old ceiling fan from the wooden blades, bell-shaped shades and pull chains that had become standard practice in this overlooked (but ever-important) product category.

And for the last 30-plus years, The Modern Fan Company has kept up doing just that, producing thoughtful and functional designs that, one could argue, changed the way modern aficionados felt about ceiling fans. Its latest is the IC/Air, from Brazillian designer Guto Indio Da Costa, who told us a bit more about his inspiration and bringing his work to the U.S. market:

New Designs

Designer Guto Indio Da Costa with an early design of the IC/Air 2.

Your first fan design was the award-winning Spirit Fan in Brazil. What are some key differences in the U.S. and Brazilian design markets?

Design is a language, therefore the cultural and social aspects have a great impact regarding how the form and finishes are perceived. The same design language can be understood very differently in different cultures. On the other hand, there is a very international group which is very fond of contemporary design, and to this specific group our design language certainly pleases independently on where they are based.

The industry is also an important player in these differences. In the American design, we were able to upgrade the design concept, the materials, the technology and processes, in a way that would not be possible in the Brazilian market.

Visually, there’s an avian reference in the IC/Air 2 design. Were birds an inspiration for the look?

The seagull was indeed an inspiration for the V-shaped profile which structures the blades, clearly collaborating to this balance of sensuality and precision.

The lightness and fluidity of the design, the combination of a Brazilian sensuality and Swiss precision are part of the design language I always try to pursue. It is part of my cultural background and references, being born in Brazil and having graduated in Switzerland.

What do you love about this design?

As a form, I love its sensuality, fluidity, compactness, precision and sleekness. The materials and finishes offering so many possible combinations. It adds a lot to it.

The Modern Fan Company has said that the IC/Air “serves as a launching pad for Modern Fan’s transition to next-generation design and innovation. What do you see as those next advancements in fan design?

We are facing a huge change in all industries. The way technology enters our daily lives changes not only products, but also the relations we have with each other and the world itself.

In the fan field, I think we will soon be dealing with very interesting innovations that will widen the range of utility that this product has, creating new possibilities and demands. A ceiling fan can be much more than a breeze generator.

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. Technology is certainly a provocative input to creativity.

What’s next on your design docket? Any big projects in the works?

Our work field has always been very wide and we have been designing all kinds of products in the past 20 years, from pens to yachts.

The capabilities of the IoT (Internet of things) will radically change the products that surround us, and in this moment we are very involved with new technological concepts which will totally modify our previous conceptions of daily products.