Since 2005, the sculptural lighting designs of Willowlamp have found pride of place in homes and luxury hotels in South Africa and abroad. Its chandeliers, lamps and bespoke creations are often the breathtaking statement piece in a space. To date, the company’s most ambitious project has been the installation of a series of three-ton chandeliers at the Crown Towers Hotel in Perth in 2016. Willowlamp’s 2018 collection, however, heralds something new for the brand: a collection focused on compact urban spaces. The designs range from the small, four-leaf clover-inspired Babylove, to a variety of Moroccan-style lamps that invoke the beauty of North Africa.
Willowlamp has big (and small) plans for 2018
While this range caters to those looking for small but impactful lighting, Willowlamp will also be showcasing its standout piece, Southern Flame, at Southern Guild’s 10th-anniversary exhibition Extra Ordinary, which opens in Cape Town on 14 February this year. The showstopper promises to turn the conventional idea of a chandelier on its head.
We asked Willowlamp creative director and founder Adam Hoets what else is in store for the brand in 2018.
What is the philosophy behind Willowlamp?
The transformation of what are normally everyday functional objects into timeless works of art. Through creativity, we aspire to enrich people’s lives – both those who work with Willowlamp and the people who live with our work.
Our designs fuse organic forms with high-tech materials and processes to create a dramatic new species of lighting. Our work is a symbolic merging of nature and technology. Though each component is manufactured industrially, the lamp itself is assembled by hand. Each fixture is the result of collaboration between the needs of the user, the creativity of the designer and the skills of the fabricator. Our responsibility is to transform creativity into high-quality, beautiful objects for everyday use.
Because people live in smaller and smaller spaces these days, their light fittings have to become works of art. Functional objects need to take on additional value and meaning.
Where does the inspiration for a new piece or a new collection come from?
Everything that I come into contact with and everything around me. Inspiration is everywhere. However, nature and sacred geometry are my main sources of inspiration. Sacred geometry is nature in its purest essence. It’s almost like the template for nature and reality. So in terms of the design process, for me it’s about the abstract understanding of how nature is made, distilling that understanding, crystallising it and then reflecting it back to the world in a way that intensifies nature’s beauty.
Tell us about the Small Space collection. What inspired these designs?
With the 2018 collection, I wanted to add some smaller, more accessible forms, albeit ones that are still very beautiful and sculpturally interesting. Normally I am most excited about creating large-scale ‘wow’ works of art because that is what gives me a personal kick, as well as a sense of artistic satisfaction. The trouble with that is that these works are normally large and expensive, and so they don’t fit into many people’s spaces – or budgets. So I wanted to challenge myself to make smaller works, which were still worthy of being called art, and were more accessible.
What’s next for the brand?
To take part in prestigious local and international design shows in order to promote the new 2018 design collection and the Willowlamp brand. To invest more in online marketing strategies in order to reach a wider audience. Hopefully, we will get some more large and exciting commissions for one-off art installation works. We intend to work on special art pieces such as the upcoming exhibition with Southern Guild, Extra Ordinary, which opens in mid-February, 2018. We aim to give back more and participate in the local design industry, stimulating the great future of South African design and designers.
For more information, visit willowlamp.com.