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Spotlight on Lighting Design at CLOSEUP 2021

Spotlight on Lighting Design at CLOSEUP 2021

At CLOSEUP 2021, we’re delighted to present a range of lighting, from handblown glass fixtures from KEEP Brooklyn and innovative LEDs by Archilume in the North American Studio Sessions, to new collections from JUNIPER and Andrea Claire.

To get insight into the US lighting market, we spoke to John Cook, who founded Austin-based lighting distributor wakaNINE in 2003 after moving from his native New Zealand. Asked what he finds exciting about the American lighting market, John cites “the evolution of lighting from simple illumination of a space towards a multi-faceted component of interior design that enables designers to enable occupants to function but also influence mood as well as health and wellness.”

The US lighting market is “ever growing and immense, and massive (compared to New Zealand where we are advanced, but constrained by economies of scale and cost).”

Aurol lighting from Ango via wakaNINE

The US Lighting Market: Opportunities and Challenges

The large American market is attractive for lighting designers, but also a challenge. John likens the US market to the big stage of Broadway, and wakaNINE works closely with their brands to prepare them.

“It takes 2-3 years to really get the brand ready for prime time,” he notes. “We have to localize all the information about the brand and the American market is ‘Broadway’.  All wakaNINE brands are successful in their own local market but, to be fair, this is very much ‘off, off Broadway’ success, so there is much to do to be ready for the demands and ‘bright lights’ of the US market.”  

Custom Totem lighting by Stephen Pikus via wakaNINE

“We are also very involved in the electrical/certification component of the product as all of our brands are international and have limited skills in this area,” John adds. “wakaNINE helps bring the ‘science of illumination’ to the wonderful ‘art/sculpture of the shade’ that our brands deliver.” wakaNINE represents  David  Trubridge  and PLN Group  (New  Zealand),  Ango  (Thailand), Luminosa (Mexico)  and  Stephen Pikus Design (South  Africa), all designers  that  focus  on  eco-friendly  materials  and  sustainable  production  techniques.

The Rise of US Lighting Designers and Manufacturers

In this thriving landscape of the US lighting market, the last decade has seen the rise of homegrown brands and manufacturers, including several that are featured in CLOSEUP.

JUNIPER celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. From its humble beginnings in Building 8 of Industry City in Sunset Park, JUNIPER was one of the original Brooklyn-based lighting pioneers. A decade on, they’ve got their own state-of-the-art manufacturing center in Connecticut and a new showroom in Soho, with a 4th floor addition in the works. At CLOSEUP 2021, they return to Industry City to preview their groundbreaking new Universe collection, which reimagines and elevates track lighting for residential and commercial spaces.

A sneak peek at Universe by JUNIPER

KEEP preserves handmade craft through the production of its own line of handblown glass lighting and objects, as well as custom fabrication for designers, artists and architects. Starting from a passion for traditional Italian glassblowing techniques, founders Susan Spiranovich and Adam Holtzinger developed their collections of lighting in response to industry demand.

All their lighting, from the colorful Poke series to custom pieces, are designed and handmade to order in Brooklyn, NY by their small team-based glassmaking crew.

Poke pendant lights by KEEP

Across the country in Southern California, Cerno is owned and operated by friends and Laguna Beach locals Bret Englander, Daniel Wacholder, and Nick Sheridan. Founded in 2009, Cerno is committed to designing and building their modern lighting in California. Their sleek collection features new lighting including Gaviota, Rincon, the Thalia Pendant, and the Torrey Pendant (all names inspired by Southern California).

Penna linear pendant lamp by Cerno

Also based on the West Coast is designer Andrea Claire, who spends as much time as possible out on the water, looking for waves. Andrea Claire’s 2021 Pisces collection was inspired by the designer’s countless hours of surfing. Smooth, floating brass forms and undulating, aqua colored fiberglass shapes evoke waves and the movement of kelp in ocean waters. Founded in Brooklyn, New York in 2011, Andrea Claire Studio expanded to the West Coast with a Los Angeles design and production studio in 2017. Specializing in eco-conscious, renewable materials such as bamboo veneer, hand-cast porcelain, and mouth-blown glass, the company is a proud member of 1% for the planet, donating 1% of all sales to oceanic conservation organizations.

A detail of the Pisces Collection by Andrea Claire

Canadian Lighting Design

Representing Canada at CLOSEUP 2021 are Archilume, Luminaire Authentik and Lambert et Fils (part of the Canadian Creators Collective). Designed and manufactured in Vancouver, BC, Archilume’s glare-free luminaires are a revolution in the use of LED lighting. Collections to be presented include Configurate, a flexible, modular canopy system; Ovolo, their first OLED technology pendant; and Trapeze, a single disc shape suspended by twinned cables.

Featuring Archilume LED lighting

Inspired by Scandinavian aesthetics, Luminaire Authentik’s lamps are drawn, designed and made in their Cowansville atelier in Quebec. The Linear Collection combines a minimalist design with a new dimming technology that dims cool to warm to create the perfect customized atmosphere in your home or projects.

The Linear Collection by Luminaire Authentik

Lambert et Fils is a design studio specializing in handmade lighting, founded by Samuel Lambert and based in Montreal, Canada. Centered around preserving the bond between design and making, all lighting is conceived, designed and hand-assembled in the Lambert & Fils atelier in downtown Montreal.

Lambert et Fils showroom in NYC

Visit closeup.design to see the full CLOSEUP 2021 schedule. Register for free to tune in to two days of product launches, trend presentations, virtual studio visits and lively conversations, broadcast live from Industry City, Brooklyn, May 17-18, and available for replay afterward.

CLOSEUP 2021 is presented by the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and WantedDesign Manhattan with the support of:
Clever, Design Milk, Dwell and Hospitality Design
AIA New York, Be Original Americas, Industry City and NYCxDESIGN
Georg Jensen, Moooi, Petite Friture, Turf Design and Ultrafabrics

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