A collaboration was formed between myself and lighting designer, Jasper Startup, to explore the potential of laser cut substrates for lighting products, with the aim of developing a limited range of lighting products aimed at the architectural and contract furnishing markets. The launch of the designs was aimed at 100% Design in September 2003.
Initial research and development focused around such issues as size, complexity of structure and form, intensity versus sparcity of cut, the effect of cut patterns on the integrity of the substrate and equally on the impact on the form, the suitability of a variety of substrates, and colouration. These issues were all explored through a serious of experiments, trials and development of prototypes.
Previous research into the lighting market and discussion with lighting manufacturers revealed that the use of laser technology was not in evidence in the marketplace, and the substrate selected as representing the most suitable for both laser cutting, functionality in terms of degrees of opacity and retention of form, - non-woven industrial filter material - had also not been used in lighting products.
The pointed 1 metre diameter cone was selected as the purest three dimensional form for the final wall light designs and a linear design of interconnecting circles formed the basis for the laser cut designs, developed in a slit formation so as to retain the surface tension of the cone. Colouration was explored as the material, being an ivory white 100% Polyester, was particularly responsive to heat transfer printing, but then subsequently rejected as distracting from the purity of cut design and form. The designs were selected for 100% Design by the exhibition jury, consisting of international designers and journalists, Tom Dixon, Jasper Morrison; and fellow exhibitors include international product, interior and textile designers, SCP, Timorous Beasties, Amtico Flooring.