When our Design team first came across the thousands of extruded basalt columns that make up the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, they described feeling awestruck. That such an intricate formation had resulted from a natural process over the course of 40,000 years was remarkable.
“It was like looking through a portal to the Earth’s crust,” said Design Director, Joe Armitage. “I’ve always been heavily inspired by patterns throughout nature, but this one was particularly unusual for its rectilinear form. You don’t see many straight lines in nature, so I can’t help but be drawn to them when I do.”
Basalt is a fine-grained volcanic rock. Its distinct columnar structure is a result of molten lava being pushed out from the Earth’s core. The size of each column is the direct result of the speed at which it cools above the surface. The Design team immediately drew parallels with the sand casting process, in which brass is heated and cooled to form into its desired shape.
This initial seed of inspiration quickly grew into prototypes for a new range of lights that would mimic the natural process in its form and production methods.
Uniting sandcast solid brass and mouth-blown borosilicate glass, Basalt is our first foray into a modular lighting system. Each Ceiling Light comprises three unique pendant lights. When installed in clusters, the columnar rock formations that provided the original inspiration are evident.
The design allows for multiple units to join together seamlessly to create a constellation-like ceiling network. Display options and striking arrangements are endless.
The Ancient Egyptians used basalt as a touchstone for testing gold, securing its associations with quality, integrity and truth. For us it’s a venerable composition, reinterpreted for the modern interior.
On show now at ICFF
May 20 – 23, 2018
Javits Center, Booth #1346
From the desk of Zosia Swidlicka