Marconi: One of my most recent projects is the Geometrics line for Uncommon Radiance, a company that is pioneering hand-blown glass that incorporates precious metals. This is the first time I’ve designed lighting for the mass market, and there has been such a wonderful response to it.
I am a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After working for a Fortune 500 company for many years in facility planning and product design, I decided to explore my own outside entrepreneurial opportunities in 2003 and began working in interior architectural renovation and custom product fabrication for private clientele. In 2007, I redirected my focus to industrial product design under contract for other companies. It was a perfect transition because I did have that corporate, procedural product design background, from strategic analysis and concept development to pilot production, manufacturing, marketing and advertising.
In general, I would say my product design tends to be more industrial, more streamlined and a little more contemporary and that I try to stay true to the material. I come from the school of thought that says a material is what it is and should be represented that way; you shouldn’t try to hide it.
In the case of Geometrics, we are working with expensive materials. One fixture wholesales for just under $7,000. It is an extremely well-built piece of equipment made of stainless steel and 24 pieces of hand-blown glass embedded with precious metals that create a wonderful luminosity and warm golden glow. The way the craftsmen blow the glass causes it to bubble and the pockets of air also contribute to the glow. When you see it in person, the light creates this wonderful luminosity that emanates from the glass itself, which becomes reflective and refractive. It is a phenomenal piece. We are hitting a market for a higher-end product, like loft conversions and hospitality—restaurants, hotels, that sort of thing. The three-tier, 24-shade unit is perfect for a loft, lobby, large foyer or atrium, or a nice-size dining room.
When I did architectural design, I always budgeted more for lighting than usual because I know how important lighting is for a space, for design, for function. You may have a gorgeous space, but if you choose the wrong piece of equipment to illuminate it, the design and the space fall short. Light can make or break a space and, as such, it is an extremely important part of interior design.