Continuing to impress with innovative forms and creative uses of materials, Rich Brilliant Willing is again introducing new products this year at ICFF during NYCxDesign. In the time since we last caught up with the trio of Brooklyn-based designers, RBW seems to have shifted gears away from furniture to focus exclusively on lighting. Considering the results, it was a solid decision. The Palindrome and Mori hanging lights are two dramatically different designs, yet both are born from an exploration of material and form. And, of course, they're both made in Brooklyn with domestically sourced materials.
A completely new way to consider a chandelier, Palindrome is part modular lighting system and part kinetic sculpture. Much like its name, the clever design allows the metal tubing and cast-glass lamp heads to be read forward or backward. As such, Palindrome is constrained only by the number of LED lamps one desires, as the system of steel tube connects through these points.
Inspired by sand dollars, the rotatable lamps are sand-blasted to diffuse the LED light into a soft yet poignant glow that's calming—a nice contrast to the structures vaguely chaotic shape. Adding further emphasis to form and individuality, the bent metal tubing can be rotated and arranged in any number of directions—from continuous looping structures to single, string-like forms—allowing for truly unique configurations with each install.
While Palindrome is large and sculptural, Mori is refined and elegant. The seemingly rigid lamps are actually quite flexible, thanks to the unique fabrication process—originally developed by the military to secure and house explosives—where silk-like threads are continuously wrapped around a wire frame. Once the desired shape is met, a thick coating of matte lacquer seals the threads and thus creates a highly durable, taut surface. Named for the industrious silkworm, the Mori pendant lamps glimmer like a cocoon with warm LED light.
Process images by Graham Hiemstra, studio images courtesy of RBW