Like the molo products than came before it, their cloud floor and table softlights are seductively tactile, with a white textile shade that seems to float, cloud-like, above a wooden tripod base. The shade is comprised of hundreds of cellular honeycomb-like forms and is lit internally by energy-efficient LED. Curious to hear how this design evolved, what inspired this latest iteration of their favorite material, and what's coming next from molo, we reached out to Todd MacAllen, who founded the firm with his partner Stephanie Forsythe in 2003. Here's what he had to say:
"The new cloud floor and table softlights began with our development of urchin—flexible, modular partitions made of paper and textiles that could expand and contract to create space. In morphing and transforming, urchin softlight followed our developments into shaping space, but this time with light. Then came cloud—the use of LED created an opportunity for us to try suspending urchin softlights to create a canopy—something that is overhead and can create intimacy within a space."
A close-up view reveals the intricate honeycomb structure of the paper shade.
"Now, with the light quality of LED that we use, a technology that has improved so much, we saw an opportunity to create another type of intimate space with a task light; an ambient kind of light that radiates gently both down and up through the shade. The cloud floor and table softlights are a miniature individual canopy that you can sit directly under and have an immediacy with. With its legs, cloud floor and table softlights become a little more caricature-like—anthropomorphized—and this too follows with our idea of urchin."
When lit, the lamps emit a soft, atmospheric glow.
"Looking forward we are doing a lot of personal research that, right now, is quite abstract and may not materialize quickly, but will come back to inform our products at molo. Wood, which we have used very simply in the new softlight, is a main area of research and we are pursuing new construction methods utilizing our local, indigenous western red cedar. We are also looking into new systems for recycling, composting, heating, and hot water. We are tying many of these projects together into a personal retreat pavilion that molo currently has in development, which will then lead back to further products and ideas. Because we are not only a design studio, but also work in production, and distribution of our designs, the development of these ideas can be rather protracted!"
The cloud floor and table softlights will premiere in Milan during Design Week, April 9 through 14, and will then be sold online at Molostore.com afterwards. The floor version will retail for $600; the table version, $530.