This interview was first published in our September 2011 Newsletter
Photo by Mark Mahaney
We recently announced our new partnership with Manhattan based design trio Rich Brilliant Willing on our blog and since LightForm has, over the last year, made a strong commitment to supporting North American design and North American designers, our union was timely as well as fitting. Their range of furniture and lighting represents a unique perspective. Referencing the existing objects and ideas that fill our daily lives, they appropriate and recreate them to address the metamorphosis of materials and product when developed in unconventional ways.
Their work has generated an immense amount of attention from such revered design, fashion and lifestyle publications as Monocle, Wallpaper, I.D., Dwell, T Magazine and Surface Magazine, among many others. Upon viewing their collection, it’s not really hard to see why. Theo Richardson, Charles Brill and Alexander Williams are the three talented designers that make up Rich Brilliant Willing and they were kind enough to let us ask them a few questions about how it works to operate a laboratory-style workshop and be a cohesive three-person design studio.
Continue reading the interview…
LIGHTFORM: We’ve read that you all graduated together from Rhode Island School of Design. Did you all graduate together? Tell us the story of how Rich Brilliant Willing was conceived.
RBW: We all studied Furniture Design, graduating together in 2006 and moved to New York City. We shared some studio space and began collaborating as the scope of work for various personal projects became greater than what we could accomplish alone. A chemistry quickly emerged that has continued to grow and evolve.
LIGHTFORM: How does it work to collaborate on design with three different points of views?
RBW: We have three different but complimentary points of view. You can liken it to members of a band playing various instruments to create a common sound..
LIGHTFORM: What are the elements you consider when you design lighting, in particular?
RBW: How will it be different/better than what’s out there? What is the function? Why do you want to own one? Often we are inspired by a new material or technology.
LIGHTFORM: In lighting, technologies in production and in new lamping are always changing as energy conservation becomes more and more necessary. How do you take advantage of these new technologies and where does it fit in with your design process?
RBW: Lamps for the home look the same for 100+ years because the bulb technology hasn’t changed. Now we have LEDs and an opportunity for new typologies. No matter the bulb, it’s always about simplicity in materials and processes.
LIGHTFORM: What new projects or collaborations are in the horizon for Rich Brilliant Willing?
RBW: Some big collaborations coming up, under wraps at the moment. A very exciting lighting collection coming soon with a Spanish manufacturer. Great new stuff from our own studio Spring 2012!
Take a look at their entire body of work at RichBrilliantWilling.com