With exposed ductwork tunneling through every hip renovated warehouse on the planet, it’s surprising that no designer has managed to create a lighting system that properly complements its hulking industrial forms. A new series of lamps created by New York-based industrial designers Rich Brilliant Willing manages to evoke the mechanical shapes with simple sculptures of wire and fabric.
Their new Delta lighting consists of four pendant lamps and one floor lamp model, each of which is offered in black or white fabric shades. The wide-mouthed, tubular shades feature details that echo the propulsion systems and rooftop vents you’d be more likely to find in the HVAC aisle at Home Depot.
The shapes came about as Rich Brilliant Willing was experimenting with various lampshade shapes. “The slightly angular nature of the forms comes from the lampshade,” Rich Brilliant Willing founding member Theo Richardson tells Co.Design. “Most often a cone or a cylinder — there are after all not really any organic fabric lampshades.” As the designers stacked the volumes together, they realized the resulting shapes looked a lot like the snaking tubes of metal which cover the rooftops of Manhattan. “These angular components when stacked created vent-like, turbine-like forms,” says Richardson. “We continued to explore turbine-like forms after this realization of familiarity.”
While the inspiration is heavy metal, Rich Brilliant Willing headed to their local lampshade maker for fabrication, who used traditional lampshade techniques. This includes the industry-standard detail of using box-pleated fabric, which here, creates the sense of folded, corrugated aluminum.
Besides their handsome forms, the lights are specifically designed to diffuse the light of compact fluorescent and LED bulbs, with material choices that absorb that telltale bluish glow. While the white lamps are white, inside and out, the black fabric lamps are lined in gold foil, lending the perfect pseudo-mechanical feel to the lamp’s warm, post-industrial light.
Delta lamps are available at The Future Perfect, and start at $600.