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Rich Brilliant Willing 2013

A first-hand look at the award-winning trio's four new designs to debut at ICFF

by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 17 May 2013

RBW-Gala-Chandelier.jpg

For over five years now, NYC-based design studio Rich Brilliant Willing (RBW) has been on our radar, conceiving and debuting beautifully creative lighting, seating and table designs each year during NYC Design Week. In 2011 RBW made their ICFF debut with four products in a tiny 10' x 10' booth, for which they won Best New Designer. Now in their third consecutive year at the fair, the design trio—Theo Richardson, Charles Brill and Alexander Williams—boasts a 400 sq ft. presentation space to introduce their most ambitious product launch yet, a collection of four new designs in the lighting and table categories.

RBW-Gala-Chandelier-sketch.jpg RBW-Gala-Chandelier-detail.jpg

The centerpiece of the show is, without a doubt, the Gala Chandelier, a modular LED chandelier system comprised of hand-blown frosted glass bulbs—specially made for RBW in Vermont—and an elegant aluminum beam. Resembling hanging fruit, the individual bulbs can be rearranged horizontally to create a number of cluster formations. And, by using low wattage LEDs, the entire chandelier is supported with little more than suspension wire, drawing very little attention from the lighting structure itself.

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The smallest addition to the RBW line is the new Monocle, a rotating mounted fixture made of milled aluminum and topped with 3D printed (by Formlabs) and acrylic lenses for ambient and directional light. Again we see RBW implement high powered LEDs to maximize light and minimize power usage. Although sitting nearly flush with the wall, the Moncole's clever design allows the base to be rotated while remaining visually stagnant. The light module itself can also be tilted to accomodate various types of lighting needs.

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Although perhaps best known for their lighting, RBW has taken some strong steps in recent years to solidify their position as a comprehensive home design studio. Last year at the 2012 ICFF they introduced the Fawn Table and Cask Stool. This year RBW will introduce the Plinth table, a massive solid wood table made in Pennsylvania. Referencing—and in some ways taunting—the traditional conference table that fills corporate offices around the country, the study Plinth is big, beautiful and curvaceous.

RBW-Plinth-close-up.jpg

Using the same five-axis digital milling machine used to the create the Fawn table series, the Plinth can be adjusted in size and proportion with the tweak of a CAD file. "We're really interested in combining very old hand workmanship with digital manufacturing techniques. And because our interest was so strong we were looking for a way to experiment with and express that, so a series of tables in different shapes and sizes seemed like a great way to do it," Williams told us. Using American walnut, natural oak and burnt oak, the three component (one top and two legs) Plinth is formed by machine and finished by hand, achieving a strikingly consistent finish, much like a handmade surfboard.

RBW-Plinth-sketch.jpg RBW-Akoya_lamp.jpg

Rounding out the 2013 addition to the RBW line is the Akoya pendant lamp, which takes its name from the Akoya variety of pearl. With a pristine parchment shade handmade in New Jersey and hand-blown frosted ivory glass bulb made in Vermont, the LED lamp is perfectly minimal, plain and simple. The beautiful basic-ness personifies the collection really—a delicate balance between machine and man-made, modern designs.

For those visiting NYC's ICFF, find Rich Brilliant Willing and their entire collection of lighting, seating and tabel designs at booth #1826. Those unable to visit the fair can find more information online directly from RBW.

Plinth images by Graham Hiemstra, all others courtesy of RBW

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