Miller said the vitality of your scene is similar to the fantastic time period of Dutch design within the 1990s that saw the emergence of global names including Hella Jongerius, Marcel Wanders and Richard Hutten.
“There seemed to be a critical mass of people doing similar interesting work and it just exploded and have become a worldwide thing,” he stated. “And I think there’s something like that occurring in Ny at this time from the lighting world.”
The newest breed of New York City lighting designers use a lot in common. They have an inclination to self-produce their goods, that happen to be directed at the luxury market. Their jobs are large-scale and sculptural but carries a slightly retro feel, which responds on the somewhat conservative taste of wealthy New Yorkers. Chandeliers abound.
They favour traditional materials like brass and opaque glass, along with their work often features circular forms and modular connecting elements. Plus they have often worked under one of several established names before branching out independently.
“David Weeks was doing lighting first; Moooi Lighting started working together with him then started [homeware brand] Butter with him before heading off in her own,” said young designer Bec Brittain, who worked under Adelman for 3 years before starting her studio in the year 2011. “I came across Lindsey and was inspired by her and learned under her and moved out by myself.”
Brittain, like Adelman, designs lights for Miller’s Roll & Hill brand, which produces pieces by designers including New Yorkers such as Rich Brilliant Willing, Paul Loebach and Rosie Li.
“In many ways it’s happening because there’s the type of mentor and mentee relationship and it’s expanding following that,” said Brittain. “Rosie Li used to get results for Jason Miller at Roll & Hill now she’s out on her very own doing lighting. So I think it’s a kind of generational spread.”
The star in the New York City lighting scene is Lindsey Adelman, who worked under David Weeks before setting up her studio in 2006 and has become the major name in the international scene as well as a mentor to local designers. Besides helping Bec Brittain’s career, this coming year she presented products created by Mary Wallis, part of her design team, in the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York this weekend.
According to Adelman, the financial crash that rocked the town shortly after she established her studio played a vital role from the genesis in the lighting scene.
“[The scene took off] just after the crash in 2008-2009,” lindsey adelman chandelier said. “I believe many people wanted to stay as creators and extremely started looking at options to do it themselves. Reducing on overhead, finding other spaces, not taking a salary, establishing a shared workshop, just which makes it happen rather than counting on other manufacturers, because that wasn’t an alternative. I do believe for all those reasons, there’s a massive burst of creativity that came after that time.”
Lighting was an evident choice of product to develop, she said, because of its simplicity. She didn’t must count on big manufacturers and may produce her products herself, or in conjunction with local suppliers.
“I adore lighting because it’s not too difficult,” she said. “It’s positive wires and negative wires which get spliced along with a bulb plus a socket. A child can make a light. There’s a whole lot freedom in it, it’s not like you require a specific kind of training. And it’s fun, it’s spontaneous and there’s no right or wrong method of doing it.”
“Lighting for many different reasons really suits this business style of independent designers in a way that lots of other products don’t,” agreed Jason Miller. “Being an independent designer is absolutely hard. It’s hard to cobble together a full time income. And for reasons unknown, lighting suits that model well. So there are a lot of designers that happen to be performing it.”
The close-knit nature in the New York scene meant designers often shared suppliers and resources, which has helped forge a coherent aesthetic.
“Most of us share plating resources, share machining resources,” said Bocci Replica. “You may ask your buddies and your community ‘How do I turn this into?’ So you begin to see several of the same vendors and 67dexjpky same techniques cropping up. So again it’s straight back to whom you learned from so you begin to see that persist through different generations.”
Many New York City lighting designers produce pieces featuring repeated elements, often machined in brass, which is caused by the DIY strategy to manufacturing.
“I believe a lot of that comes from designers being manufacturers and handling the making themselves,” said Russell Greenberg, creative director of Long Island lighting brand Stickbulb. “They need economy of scale hence they leverage modular parts multiple times onto make different configurations of lights. It’s a far more efficient strategy for having a broa
der line of products when you’re both the designer and the manufacturer. The designer managing the manufacturing process has maybe been an issue.”