Despite once being considered a dim aspect of interior design, lighting has never been more popular. Attitudes are changing rapidly, with designers and consumers viewing lighting as something revolutionary which can completely transform a space. Gone are the days of its solely one-dimensional use!
Molecular installations, bare bulb-and-wire configurations and intricate eco-friendly designs are now a common sight. Even light switches and dimmers are experiencing a makeover, with the likes of Buster + Punch creating a modern, metallic range to die for. Yes, lights are needed for their practical use but why not make a statement at the same time? Kill two birds with one stone so to speak.
Works of art
This trend throws the old age view of lighting as a practical, household necessity on its head. Instead, designers treat lighting as works of art. They celebrate structural and geometrical form and create a sensory experience sure to captivate audiences.
Much of the most avant-garde lighting is currently found in the studios of New York designers–David Weeks, Lindsey Adelman and Bec Brittain to name a few. Brittain is quoted in Architectural Digest as saying “New York’s lighting scene is like a family tree,” with all three designers having worked together at some period in time.
Adelman is most famous for her branching bubble chandeliers while Brittain’s flexible SHY lighting system brought her into the limelight and established her as a lighting pioneer.
Other notable designers include Gabriel Scott, Christopher Boots and Ohad Benit. Gabriel Kakon and Scott Richler use their backgrounds in architecture, industrial design and jewellery-making to create sculptural, statement pieces. All installations are handmade in Montreal and displayed in their flagship downtown Manhattan showroom.
Melbourne-based industrial designer Christopher Boots explores architecture and the geometry of organic shapes through his lighting. Boots also draws on his Greek heritage, fusing natural and classical elements with mythology.
Israeli designer Ohad Benit’s Stress collection reflects the tension between the two materials–glass and brass. The glass is blown into each of the brass rings to create a soap bubble effect. Floor lamps, pendants and wall lights make up the collection.
The industrial age
The “chameleon” of the design world; its adaptability and rudimentary elements make the industrial trend easily transferrable to any aesthetic. Copious amounts of metal, wire, exposed bulbs and an emphasis on nuts and bolts are key. Whether paired with warehouse surroundings or a more unexpected, midcentury-modern backdrop, there is always a place for industrial lighting.
McKenzie & Keim is a Chicago-based lighting design duo which prides itself in establishing a new standard in contemporary lighting. Their products merge classic materials with LED technology to produce timeless and efficient creations. McKenzie & Keim focus on minimal lines and elegant transitions between components.
Apparatus is a New York design studio founded by Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson. The pair focus on geometry and contrast, mixing sculptural form with hand-worn materials blur the line between the perfect and the imperfect. The studio is known for its raw brass components and equine influences.
Dowsing & Reynolds is all about lighting with an edge–something you wouldn’t find on the highstreet. The brand combines vintage industrial trends with Scandinavian influences to create lighting with a difference.
The natural world
It’s all about green living these days. Designers are looking for new, innovative ways to produce eco-friendly products that minimize waste and maximize natural resources.
Mater is a Scandinavian interiors studio focusing on sustainable and ethical design. Founder Henrik Marstrand set up the company to create iconic, beautiful homewares that celebrate fresh talent and support local craft traditions and the environment.
Ameico is all about contemporary designs and bringing ideas to the marketplace. The company is person-centric and aesthetic-driven, ensuring goods are durable, exemplary and honest. Ameico spans both decades and styles to boast a collection of timeless, innovative pieces.
Whether you consider yourself an art connoisseur, an eco warrior or none of the above, have fun with your lighting choices and exploit their multifunctional properties.
Top photo credit: We-Heart