Our fine lighting event, lightjunction, taking place as part of designjunction during the London Design Festival (17-21 September), has a very specific purpose. It is to increase specifiers’ awareness and understanding of high quality, relevant suppliers of decorative lighting. I'm highlighting some exhibitors in these posts, to give an idea of how the brands were chosen.STARS OF THE FUTURE?
Lightjunction exhibitors have been selected on two bases. The first was by invitation from me: I knew the kinds of supplier that I wanted you to get to know better. The second was by application. People who wanted to exhibit submitted information to our panel for approval. The result was intended to be – and, I think, is – a combination of established brands and very interesting newcomers.
Some of the newcomers we know. Others we don’t know, but they looked really promising to us; we wanted to know more! Here is a selection.
Foldability is Kyla McCallum. She creates products by folding and geometry. The Sonobe range, some of which are shown above, are made from up to 115 squares of special paper from Fedrigoni.
However, over the past month she has been busy developing a range of folded — pleated — textiles. By working with one of the last UK pleating companies, she plans to bring new life to a dying industry, and with the potential for some exciting results!
She is up for creating custom pieces and for working with manufacturers. The results can be quite big:
A highly-regarded studio, run by the architect Tom Housden, that collaborates with British craftspeople working in terracotta, wood, pewter, glass and cast aluminium (so far!)
Richard and Juliet Fishenden’s forge is in Willisham, a village near Ipswich. It is the real deal (which is why the name of their company is so appropriate):
They have added to their range pendants in the form of cages for lamps (see above). A current trend, of course, a style being mass-produced all over the place. But theirs have an individuality, a liveliness in the lines and the finishes, that could only come from genuine craftsmanship, rather than a machine:
They also make curtain poles and finials, pan racks, handles and towel rails (a detail of one of which is shown above). As they say, useful products that will last a lifetime.
Specials should be possible, too—let’s find out when we meet them! They could be a really useful source.
Neonwhite Design is the company of Munich-based designer, Denise Hachinger. Her lights and other products demonstrate a very good eye, with an interest in the relevant technology.
The wall light above is a modular system that creates smooth, calm indirect light, and beautiful decoration for a large wall. You can arrange them how you like.
Her LC 1.0 chandelier moves!
Each one is unique and so can be site-specific – the coating of the light surfaces, the colour of the frame and the LEDs can all be changed.
Her Skylight pendant is a modest hemisphere during the day. Turned on at night, however, it quietly astonishes — the dots on the shade become single points of light that seem to hover in space, like stars (the light being conveyed invisibly to them from LEDs in the central ring, through the acrylic).
These are very good examples of why we need the makers to bring their work to London so that you can see them for real! Pictures and descriptions cannot make clear what is so special about them, and how you can use them.
This is the studio of Pia Wüstenberg and her brother Moritz. Lighting is a smallish part of their production, which also includes stunning vessels made of glass combined with wood and metal.
They also have enchanting, delicate handmade paper lights…
…crafted by artisans in Ahmedabad, India.
A young studio creating decorative light fittings, even though it was founded by three lighting designers! The source of the light is as important to them as the light itself, and they pay great attention to all details, “weeding out the superfluous”. Their collection includes Tilt (above), the simplest and most versatile of the current crop of pendant shades that can be angled. This is how it works…
…and this is what you can do with it:
Fade, has a shade made of stainless steel metal sheet only 0.08mm thick that has microscopic perforations and appears to float around the lamp (which is only visible when it is on).
Another classic case of a luminaire that you need to see: words and pictures don’t do it justice, so you must come to lightjunction!
Velt are Polish glass specialists that are making lights that may follow the recent trend of being simple and coloured (above right), or they go their own way and elegantly decorate them with folk patterns (above left).
However, they are also making lights using glass not to act as a shade but to conduct the light from the lamp concealed behind it. The glass can unevenly shaped, showing streaks of colour, bubbles, or it can be plain and simple:
Here the technique is used in larger pendants that make up installations, their length making them particularly suited to stairwells:
Another really interesting, new product that needs to be seen to be understood, from a studio that needs to be met!
Though this was not my deliberate intention, I’m not surprised to see that this selection is made up of craftsmanship, and of real people (which is why I’ve included pictures of them where I can). This positions their lights a million miles away from mass-produced, anonymous blobs. And why does that matter? Because of the pleasure that their creations will continue to give, and the spirit that they will add to an interior — making a house a home. This also explains the rationale behind lightjunction. The lights need to be experienced, and their makers need to be met, if what makes them special is to be understood. This will be exciting — surely why we all got into this business in the first place!