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AllSew SF Pop Up

September 27, 2019

Rich Brilliant Willing is proud to present their latest statement piece, AllSew, a modular, scalable pendant inspired by the luminosity of lanterns, and the lightweight, collapsible efficiency of kites. AllSew is now on view for a limited time in San Francisco at 835 Larkin Street. Schedule your personal walk-through here.

Named to reference its sewn textile construction—the shade body is “all sewn,” offering a slight double entendre—AllSew, a homophone of “also,” connotes an additive quality, as well, suggesting its intended use in a tiled configuration of multiple units.

The large, illuminated volumes of AllSew recall classic Akari paper lanterns, reinterpreted and updated for high-performance needs and everyday use. Intricate details and functional considerations belie its simple form: The interior framework is made from thin, gently pliable rods engineered for strength under tension, and ease of assembly. Compressed for shipping, the shade material retains wrinkles when expanded, adding a warmth of textural richness and lending a diffuse glow. Sailcloth fabric was selected for its extreme durability and luminous quality.

For available times and to schedule a personal walk-through, click here.

Performance Decorative: The New Workplace Standard

September 18, 2019

Workspaces are evolving faster than ever, and architectural lighting is developing at a similar pace. However, one category of lighting used in corporate and workplace design has some catching up to do and that’s decorative lighting.

A variety of developments in the nature of the workplace have driven office design away from the bland, unchanging landscapes of the past. One example is choice-based seating, which essentially allows employees to find their own ideal work environment instead of being attached to a particular desk or workstation. Another is the highly competitive co-working space market: these short or long-term leased office environments are often loaded with shared amenities like informal work lounges and social areas.

Pictured: Akoya 22 in Camping World Offices by Eastlake Studio / Photography by Hall + Merrick Photographers

Choice-based seating is a concept that’s now mainstream. This might be implemented in a literal way, where no one has an assigned seat or desk. More commonly, end users may have an assigned workstation but also have the freedom to work in a variety of less formal environments, like work lounges, huddle rooms, “scrums”, coffee bars, etc.  For some of our clients, such spaces might occupy a third or more of a typical “workplace” floor. The proliferation of these less formal workspaces has opened the door for a greater variety of architectural lighting and certainly for more decorative lighting.

Pictured: AllSew 36 Square (left) / Photography by Federica Carlet (left) and Delta IV in Dropbox Austin Offices by Perkins and Will / Photography by Casey Dunn (right)

Huddle Rooms, for example, are a relatively new space type. These are basically the more “chill” younger siblings of the small conference rooms of old. Furnishings can be a table and chairs, but in some cases can easily be a sofa and a couple of club chairs. These rooms elicit a sense of informality and creativity but still require lots of functionality to support team collaboration, such as videoconferencing, marker boards, etc. The lighting in these rooms has to support a wide range of visual tasks.

Pictured: Palindrome in San Francisco LinkedIn Headquarters by IA Interior Architects / Photography by Eric Laignel (left) and AllSew 48 Square  / Photography by Federica Carlet (right)

Decorative lighting is a go-to design element to help create the look and feel of rooms like this, but often isn’t able to provide enough ambient light for more demanding visual tasks. Mixing a decorative luminaire with supporting “performance” lighting can work in some cases, but that approach inherently adds cost.

Pictured: Radient in Github Offices by Rapt Studio / Photography by Jasper Sanidad (left) and Monocle in Atlassian Offices by Perkins and Will / Photography by Casey Dunn (right)

The humble phone room is another space type that has proliferated in choice-based seating environments. There are often dozens of these small single-occupant rooms per workplace floor, acting as quiet refuges for both calls and heads-down work. Here, decorative lighting can contribute to creating focus and reinforce a sense of privacy but may not have the best light output or distribution to support the full range of visual tasks that might be needed (for example, videoconferencing).  Again, adding other layers of light in these spaces can solve the lighting problem but may be cost-prohibitive. How many fixtures is a client willing to pay for to light a 50-square-foot room?

Pictured: AllSew 48 Square / Photography by Federica Carlet

What’s really needed for cases like these is a special category of decorative lighting: performance decorative. These are decorative fixtures with light outputs much closer to that of general lighting with shielded or diffused light sources to reduce glare and possibly other useful features, like acoustical absorption, separately controlled direct and indirect light, full-range dimming, and color-changing capabilities. In other words, these fixtures can’t just look great; they must be robust, adaptable, and help solve a variety of design problems.

Pictured: Akoya 14 in WeWork Culver City by WeWork / Photography by WeWork 

In the co-working market, there’s a huge need for owner/operators to distinguish their product from the competition, and the product their selling is not just a furnished office space; it’s an experience. These environments often have very hospitality-like qualities, but they are still workspaces so lighting fixtures that are decorative but with performance features are often a necessity.

Tenants who are attracted to co-working are often drawn in by the networking and social possibilities.  The coffee pantry in a space like this might transform into a bourbon-tasting bar every Wednesday at 6 PM. A warm-dimming capability in the decorative pendants above the island countertop would really help set the mood for this type of special event.

Decorative lighting used to just be what the name implies; it was decoration! It was often utilized as just the jewelry of interior space. There’s a great need, and therefore a great opportunity, for lighting manufacturers to step up to this new challenge: continue to give us beautiful lighting objects that support the aesthetic needs of our spaces, but also help us support the increasing functional needs of our clients by incorporating more performance features.

- Gary Bouthillette, AIA, LC

Gary Bouthillette, AIA, LC, is Senior Director of Lighting Design at IA Interior Architects, with 24 years of experience in lighting and design.  He has provided design solutions for major organizations and Fortune 500 companies spanning an extensive range of industries, including technology, finance, entertainment, law, education, and energy. 

What is Portfolio Dimming?

August 23, 2019

Elevate your projects with our easy-to-understand, expanded dimming options. Introducing our new platform—Portfolio Dimming—available across our line of expressive, decorative light fixtures.

Created to allow for seamless specification with a variety of projects in mind, from workplace to hospitality, dining, and retail experiences, RBW's expanded dimming capabilities now give you the power of precision control married with exceptional light quality.

We have always strived to push the boundaries of what decorative lighting can be. With the introduction of Portfolio Dimming, we're melding the high-caliber design aesthetics of our fixtures with the exceptional technical performance your projects require.

 Portfolio Dimming allows for the greatest level of control and a smooth transition from full light output (100%) down to one of three primary light level targets: Standard (10%), Flex (1%), and Performance (0.1%).

The result is easy-to-achieve, tailored light levels for any setting—no matter the project requirements or budget—furthering your ability to create award-winning atmosphere unique to each of your projects.

To schedule a presentation on Portfolio Dimming or for further information on elevating your next project, call +1 212 388 1621 or email sales@richbrilliantwilling.com.

You can find compatibility for specific collections in the graphics below:

 

Shop Talk with Neil Logan Vol. 1

August 07, 2019


In this new interview series, Shop Talk, we chat with friends and collaborators of Rich Brilliant Willing about the ideas, discoveries, and inspirations that drive their design process. For our first installment, we feature the architect behind our recent studio expansion at Industry City.

 Photography by Dean Kaufman

As we continue to celebrate our ten-year milestone—yes, ten!—the excitement can be felt in our new and improved workspace, which we recently expanded and revamped this spring to meet the demands of a growing team. To help us along with the transformation, we collaborated with local architect and designer Neil Logan to refine our sixth-floor loft space at Industry City, which combines a purpose-designed factory and design studio under one roof.

We were lucky to work together: Neil has worked with more than a handful of legends, from Toshiko Mori, Edward Larrabee Barnes, Philippe Starck, and Andrée Putman; to brands like Herman Miller and Maharam; and artists including Rirkrit Tiravanija and R.H. Quaytman. Neil’s precise work is rigorous as it is elegantly minimal, and as a hands-on independent architect and designer, we felt his creative ethos resonated with our own.

We recently caught up with Neil to get to know him a little better, and discuss his design process and thinking behind our new workspace.

 

Tell us about your studio. When did you first start your own practice?

 

I started my office in the early ’90s, after having worked for some larger offices and smaller offices, some interior people, some famous people—and then kind of slowly went on my own.

For my first solo project, I was lucky to have a project with Art and Commerce, a company that represented photographers and people in the fashion business, mostly, and advertising. And then that led to many other contacts and other projects; I also have several clients who are prominent artists, for example. I find that I tend to work well with people in the visual and creative fields. 

 

Was redesigning our studio your first time working in Industry City?

 

To be frank, I had only been to Industry City one time prior to working with RBW! And I was quite impressed to learn how the team assembles all of their fixtures themselves and at that location—that was very surprising and impressive, to see these high-quality, design conscious products being made, well marketed, and presented all in one space. These days, most companies farm out that kind of manufacturing work, or you assume they’re made by robots, or something [laughs].

 

 "That was very surprising and impressive, to see these high-quality, design conscious products being made, well marketed, and presented all in one space."

 

It’s an actively industrial space, both historically and the way we use it today. What were your initial thoughts about how you might redesign our workspace within that context? 

 

In a building of that type, where the existing structure is so prominent, so strong and dominant, it’s important to organize your space with the structure, as opposed to fight against it. When we started the project, there was a concrete block wall dividing the existing space with the additional one, and once we removed that, a lot of the interior divisions were really the result of using the columns and beams as markers.

The biggest challenge, for us, was figuring out how to arrange all of the different workstations and distinct needs for our team within that grid—while still keeping us together, social and collaborative in one space.

There were three main different functions to address, as I saw it. The assembly, which could be quite noisy at times; and the studio and office areas, for quieter, more focused desk work. Then, a mix of meeting rooms, private offices, and shared spaces—which, in a big, open space like that, is a challenge to make without breaking it up into too many little rooms.

Our studio and workshop at Industry City now spans the entire floor, structured by three large bays partitioned by a grid of columns and beams that are original to the building.

 

So instead, we introduced this big box of smaller rooms, and then had a bunch of ideas of how to animate those areas that we were building out. The modular rooms and sliding doors brought a lot of sheet rock and blank surfaces into the space. With the added structural repetition of the building columns and beams, our approach was to use color to break up the monotony and act as a visual marker. The colors also help distinguish each of the spaces from one another, allowing for a kind of wayfinding.

Neil chose tones from Polychromie Architecturale, Le Corbusier’s swatch of architecturally significant paint hues, to visually punctuate each of the different rooms and stations with a cohesive pop of color.

 

What were some of the other major spatial interventions and design changes you felt were needed?

 

The other thing I noticed, after visiting a couple of times, was that the assembly and workshop areas at the center of the studio were rather very dark. But there was a giant skylight right in the middle of the space! So we opened those up, and that was a great way to balance all of the natural light coming in through the windows on either side of the building.

Let there be light: Activating skylights at the center of our floor-through space brightened up our communal areas.

One of the best things about what you’ve done with our space—and furniture—is how it supports and promotes collaboration among the RBW team.

 

I was happy that the team decided to have custom furniture for their special needs, rather than going and just buying things off the shelf, because then the whole thing can be more tailored to their setup. In the case of the conference room, they wanted to have these high tables, which is slightly unusual. The idea is that they would have shorter and more informal meetings, and people would be encouraged to stand up or perch on strong stools while discussing or reviewing products together. And then in the kitchen and pantry area, we designed and had fabricated open and exposed stainless steel countertops—kind of like an industrial restaurant supply—and added a more conventional but very large table, so everyone could casually sit together as they prepare and eat lunch or take a break. 

 

I think the way that RBW works is very special and admirable, because it shows less of an interest in separating out the different kind of tasks—and even the different work cultures that may exist between the people in the assembly or stock department, with those in design or accounting, and so forth—and trying to mix and integrate them all together.

Our group meetings tend to happen standing, while workshopping and reviewing prototypes and models, so Neil custom-designed a set of counter-height tables with stools.

 

NYCxDesign | Aged 10 Years Previews

May 24, 2019

In celebration of its 10 year anniversary, Rich Brilliant Willing hosted a series of preview events surrounding the theme of Aged 10 Years.

The menu explored the different ways in which food can be aged—from pickling and curing to dehydrating. Each dish played with various elements of preservation and how these processes lend a sense of durability to otherwise fragile produce. A tasting of three wines from 2009, all showing freshness and vitality despite their age, echoed the timelessness of good design. The 10 year celebration included a preview of RBW's latest collection, AllSew, a modular scalable pendant inspired by the luminosity of lanterns and the lightweight, collapsible efficiency of kites. 

Photography by Federica Carlet, Event Production by Nikki Cohen, Catering by Greenings Fine Foods

 

 

NYCxDesign | 10 Year Anniversary Party

May 24, 2019

Rich Brilliant Willing has turned 10 years old this year and we celebrated during NYCxDesign Week at the newly opened Sister City Rooftop. Sister City is just a few blocks away from RBW’s birthplace, a humble basement on Chrystie street which acted as an incubator for our very first product ideas. A few years down the line and we now have worked on a hotel building lit almost entirely with RBW fixtures. Our newest sconce Dimple is in every guest room in the 200-room hotel, resulting from a two year collaboration with Sister City. There’s nothing like a New York City rooftop to make you feel like the sky is truly the limit.

Visit Us During NYCxDesign

May 13, 2019

May 13th - May 22nd 2019, 10AM - 6PM  

 
Experience the Patterns of Light exhibition for the launch of AllSew, a new luminous pendant collection, during design week at our Soho showroom. View the installation of oversized textile pendants sewn from a durable and luminous specialty sailcloth, that pushes the boundaries of scale while providing a delicate heft and visual weight to a space.

Photography by Federica Carlet

AllSew is a new modular pendant tailored for workspaces, and equally suited for a wide range of residential, hospitality, and contract settings. Designed for tiled, large-scale installations, AllSew creates voluminous, architectural ceiling scapes for an impactful statement. The collection's weightless volume and pared-down design recall classic Akari paper lanterns, and take inspiration from the material language of kites: lightweight, collapsible structures that combine technical fabrics and composite rods. The shade is sewn from a durable and luminous, specialty sailcloth, while its interior framework is made from thin, gently pliable rods engineered for strength under tension and ease of assembly.

Salone: Tell Me More Rapt Studio × RBW × Erik Bruce

April 08, 2019

Award-winning interdisciplinary design agency Rapt Studio presents Tell Me More, their debut installation at Salone del Mobile featuring Rich Brilliant Willing as their exclusive lighting partner. Their immersive, interactive exhibit displays a grand installation of Vitis, Centro Pendants, and Crisp Sconces along the walls.

photography: Eric Laignel

Tell Me More aims to explore the intersection of spatial experience and emotional connection, offering visitors the opportunity to experience a microcosm of a Rapt-designed environment. Inspired by the feeling of entering a beloved space, the two-part installation consists of an arrival chamber and expansive lounge, which serve as a backdrop to explore human connection.

As guests first enter the space, they are greeted by small circular, drapery-clad “stages” –personal theaters. Each stage presents guests with a question posed by the stranger who came before them. Upon reflecting, visitors are asked to leave a query for the next guest and transition beyond the mirrored walls into the lounge.

In the lounge, guests gather underneath a living collage created by a shower of lights that hang from the vault ceiling. Among the lights hang threads, from which the questions posed in the personal theaters reappear to encourage guests to consider their answers, strike up conversations, and make personal connections with those around them.

See you there.

RBW x Rapt Studio for Salone del Mobile

March 19, 2019

Award-winning interdisciplinary design agency Rapt Studio presents Tell Me More, their debut installation at Salone del Mobile featuring Rich Brilliant Willing as their exclusive lighting partner. Their immersive, interactive exhibit displays a grand installation of Vitis, Centro Pendants, and Crisp Sconces along the walls.

Tell Me More aims to explore the intersection of spatial experience and emotional connection, offering visitors the opportunity to experience a microcosm of a Rapt-designed environment. Inspired by the feeling of entering a beloved space, the two-part installation consists of an arrival chamber and expansive lounge, which serve as a backdrop to explore human connection.

As guests first enter the space, they are greeted by small circular, drapery-clad “stages” –personal theaters. Each stage presents guests with a question posed by the stranger who came before them. Upon reflecting, visitors are asked to leave a query for the next guest and transition beyond the mirrored walls into the lounge.

In the lounge, guests gather underneath a living collage created by a shower of lights that hang from the vault ceiling. Among the lights hang threads, from which the questions posed in the personal theaters reappear to encourage guests to consider their answers, strike up conversations, and make personal connections with those around them.

General Exhibit Information:

  • Exhibit Title: Tell Me More
  • General Dates and Opening Times: 
  • April 9-13 10:00-20:00
    April 14 10:00-18:00
    Location: Ventura Centrale, Via Ferrante Aporti 15bis, 20125 Milano, Italy
  • Hashtags: #TellMeMore #RaptxSalone

RBW Holiday Party 2018

December 18, 2018

This year to celebrate the holidays and to give a big thank you to some of our top clients, we invited them into our showroom for a night of live music, specialty cocktails, and great company. Hanging from the ceiling as a vine-like structure was our most recent statement piece - Vitis, a dramatically draped statement chandelier combining light, translucency and fluidity of form.

 

 

 

Photography by Federica Carlet 

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