Latest Articles in Lighting Design

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ICFF 2011: From the Show Floor

I'll admit, it's a little daunting stepping onto the show floor at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), held for a long May weekend every year at the Javits Convention Center in New York. There's a lot to see. But once you start wandering the aisles, uncovering design gems in the various booths is a blast. Here's round one of some of the things I saw that stuck with me.
May 18, 2011
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Chris Hardy Design

Name the hubs for emerging American designers and you'll likely hear the usual suspects of Seattle, San Francisco, and Brooklyn. Look southward, too, though, for a crop of energetic young guns set on making their mark. One such designer, Atlanta-based Chris Hardy, enticed the iconic Italian lighting manufacturer FontanaArte to produce his new Wig lamp. After returning from Milan, where Chris debuted Wig, the young designer chatted with me about FontanaArte, the state of contemporary American design, and Atlanta's burgeoning design scene. "It's nice to see that design is infused in the culture here—even if it is on a small scale," he says speaking of a few streets named after historic design figures.
May 16, 2011

Lesley Anton's Ceramic Muses

Citing inspirations ranging from the rocks of Joshua Tree to sand dunes, bamboo and her grandmother’s milk-glass hobnail bottles, Los Angeles-based ceramist Lesley Anton began her craft with clay classes at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. She worked out of her garage and backyard in Los Angeles for nine years before moving into a studio with a storefront in which she displays her functional work, consisting of bowls, mugs and utensil vessels. Anton is inspired by ceramists Beatrice Wood “for her creativity and flat out ballsiness,” Adam Silverman “for his peaceful, minimal profiles with the most vibrant and tactile glazes,” and Otto and Vivika Heino “for their tenacity and dedication to the process.” Anton, who can be found nearly every day at the wheel in her studio, hopes that her work occupies its own space within the milieu of California pottery. “The legacy of clay in California is huge, but I feel like since my work dabbles in both the design world as well as the craft world, I hope that it transcends both, to be able to stand the test of time.” Her lamps are sold to the trade through six showrooms across the country. Click here for a complete list.
May 9, 2011
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2011 Modernism Show

The 2011 Modernism Show, held in the cavernous Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport, brought both rarities and new interpretations within the category. From works by Gio Ponti and the Lalannes to new pieces by emerging artists created over the last 10 years, the stock again exemplified the dealers’ ability to constantly renew the parameters of modernism.
May 6, 2011
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Materials for Consideration

Galerie Kreo is one of the most unique spaces I know of for design. The gallery, run by Didier and Clémence Krzentowski, sees itself as a 'research laboratory,' commissioning and displaying one-off and limited-edition pieces by the likes of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Pierre Charpin, Hella Jongerius, Jasper Morrison, and Martin Szekely.  When I was in Paris earlier this year I caught their wonderful exhibition of work by L'ECAL students and teachers, "A New Generation of Lights."  Their current show is "Matières à réflexion," or "Materials for Consideration," and it looks like a good one. It's been extended till May 15, so if you can, check it out in person. If not, here's a virtual sampling of the works on view.
April 27, 2011
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The Century of Modern Design

Of the myriad books on modernism—some more enlightening than others—The Century of Modern Design (Flammarion) will likely prove to be an important one. Culled from the Liliane and David M. Stewart collection (now part of the permanent collection at the Montreal Museum of Modern Art), the highlighted pieces are chronicled by decade, from 1930 through 2009. Designers range from the most revered to the little-known; some, where appropriate to the ongoing story and depending on their prolificness, appear more than once (the Eameses, Gaetano Pesce, Verner Panton). Edited by David A. Hanks, the book unfolds as a careful study of what we have come to call modern, exemplified here as a series of artful movements that are at times so innovative, they almost defy categorization.  
April 13, 2011
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High Point Market 2011

April 2nd to the 7th marked the spring High Point Market, a tradeshow that takes place in the heart of American furniture country. One of the oldest furniture fairs in the United States, the Market traces its roots back to 1909 when it was called the "Southern Furniture Expo." Twice a year in April and October, an estimated 80,000 people convene to get the scoop on some of the newest and soon-to-be-released interior design wares. The Market slants to the traditional and "transitional," but the contemporary held its ground (though it took some sifting for me to find). In the following slideshow, have a look at what was brought to Market by a handful of the 2,000+ exhibitors, make a pit stop at the world's largest chest of drawers, and take in the color du jour (hint: it was NOT Pantone's Honeysuckle).
April 7, 2011
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Made Design Shop and Gallery

Canada is known for its love of hockey and its long winters but few people know of our neighbor to the north's wealth of innovative modern designers. Enter Made. The Toronto shop and gallery features pieces that are—as the storefront suggests—"Canadian made, hand made, custom made, and well made." It's a celebration of what Canadian design is all about.
March 23, 2011
A classic, the Tolomeo lamp.

The Electrician-Free Sconce

A few months into living in a new apartment, it's become clear that I'm one lamp shy of a fully-lit living room. It's perfectly fine in there, but I often wish that I could turn everything just a tick brighter without turning on the ghastly overhead light. And though I've considered another table lamp, or an arcing floor lamp, suddenly a sconce or two that don't require any wiring are looking more and more appealing. Here are the two that I've got my eye on. Best yet, neither will break the bank.
March 14, 2011