May 02, 2014
When fellow RISD graduates Theo Richardson, Charles Brill, and Alexander Williams launched Rich Brilliant Willing in a basement studio in 2007, they almost immediately found themselves in the spotlight – and on I.D.’s list of Top 40 designers. Four years later, they had turned that bright promise and a loose concept for producing their own designs into the kind of smart, well-designed furniture and lighting – and an ICFF debut – that netted them the 2011 ICFF Editors Award for New Designer, among other accolades. Since then, the firm has increased the size of its ICFF presentation annually. It’s also had “longer, better conversations with new and existing clients,” says Richardson of “the top tier architects and interior designers” who stop by the firm’s booth each May.
Last year the partners flashed on the future of lighting – LED technology, etc. – and found it to be the area of product design that interested them the most. As a result, they’ve opted to focus solely on illumination, believing in “the power of light to create atmosphere.” Their latest atmospheric devices? Two pendant fixtures premiering at this year’s ICFF. The first involves the use of an old spray-coating technology that sheaths an organically shaped wire frame with slightly stretchy webbing, rather like a silkworm’s cocoon. The second? A chandelier composed of multiple illuminated cast-glass heads on a tubular frame of irregular modular pieces that rotate prior to installation. Interior designers can individualize the configuration for size and budget. Says Richardson, “it’s almost kinetic, and a solution for mass customization.” What’s more next-generation than that?