Haberdashery is a unique design studio that is committed to working with light. Based in London, they are a team of experts in product design, engineering, research, and product development. One could not quite call them product designers though. Their work is not quite about making light fittings, or aesthetically pleasing desk lamps. Instead, Haberdashery thinks about light in the expanded field, beyond the realm of object design. Light is everywhere, light is essential to life. The studio considers the effects of light on emotions and memory, and the way in which light can completely transform the experience of a space. They do a considerable amount of explorative work, but also work with clients to create bespoke lighting solutions.
Haberdashery divides their portfolio into three parts: Sculpture, Collectables, and Products. Products are more classic lighting objects, though not less poetic for being functional. These include the Dawn to Dusk sun-inspired floor lamp and Canopy, a hanging light shade that tries to replicate the dappled light of a forest. The Collectables are an impressive collection of more abstract approaches to light. The Frequency series was created in collaboration with photographer Julian Abrams. Each of these objects plays with the less tangible qualities of light, like oscillation, frequency, and reflection. The Radiance collectibles are stunning in their simple construction. Three editions in different hues are made from layered coloured glass that throws sun-stalking shadows on the ground, but also emit their own light.
The Sculpture section is reserved for large scale projects in commercial spaces. Helio Ray, a concept for the public space recently joined the list. Here, Haberdashery aims to tackle the lack of light in high-rise dominant cities. Taking New York as a prime example, Helio Ray could be installed atop a building to collect sunlight and beam it down its walls in a waterfall of rays. The principle behind it is similar to that of a reversed periscope — one reflective surface received the sun beams, and a second redirects them. Though I am not sure how much of this light the pedestrians would be able to catch, it would at least send a signal to look up, a gentle glimmer in the corner of one’s eye that leads the gaze towards a different perspective. Find out more about Haberdashery here.