When you put a classic brand together with the globally renowned ‘Patron Saints of Print’ and an iconic sixties tower block, extraordinary things happen. Charlotte Abrahams, writer and curator of and co-editor of the Selected Journal asked Anglepoise® Innovation and Brand Director Simon Terry and Mark Eley of design house Eley Kishimoto to tell all.
Simon, where did the idea for the Anglepoise® + Centre Point collaboration come from?
ST: Well, it all began at Clerkenwell Design Week 2014. Mark Eley saw that we were launching the Anglepoise + Paul Smith lamp and asked if we’d be up for another collaboration. Eley Kishimoto, in their role as Creative Ambassadors to the Centre Point redevelopment, were producing a range of patterns inspired by the building. We liked the idea of being associated with a piece of landmark architecture and were also drawn to the technical challenge of applying a complex geometric pattern onto the inside of a lamp shade.
And Mark, why did you approach Anglepoise®?
ME: An old colleague re-introduced me to Anglepoise® not long after we’d started working with property developers Almacantar on the re-development of Centre Point. It was obvious to me that here were two icons of British design and that there was a great heritage story to be told.
There are three patterns in the collection. What inspired them?
ME: Private Views, Urban Meadow and Central Link, like all the prints we designed for the Centre Point project, were inspired by the tower block’s 1960s architecture. The monochrome, geometric patterns are an interpretation of the dramatic shadow effect the sunlight has when it falls on the building, and how changeable it is from sunrise to sunset.
Pattern is quite a departure for Anglepoise isn’t it Simon?
ST: Yes, pattern is certainly something a new direction for us, but when you are lucky enough to have an iconic product like this, it’s essential to keep it relevant and interesting. Above all though it’s great when those projects come along that push the boundaries but above all are fun to do and make the everyday exciting …
Applying pattern to the inside of a light shade sounds pretty straightforward. Was it?
ME: The most difficult aspect for us was working out how to manipulate our prints so they worked on a convex 3D surface. We made 3D paper mock-ups that fitted inside the shade, selected prints and played around with scale and repetition until we’d resolved the technical design placement issues, and then passed the designs onto the Anglepoise team. That’s where the really tricky part started.
ST: Well you certainly set us a challenging task Mark! For a start, you can’t print on the surface inside the shade with conventional equipment and the tight, two directional curvature means that you get unreliable distortion or rippled and bubbling transfers if you use traditional printing application techniques.
So how did you resolve it?
ST: I think I’ll let Adam Wade, Anglepoise® tech expert, explain…
AW: We worked with a UK printing company to develop unique tooling and a 3D Thermal Printing process. Basically, the pattern is printed, made into a ‘male’ 3D form identical to the inside of the shade and then held against the inner at high pressure and baked onto the surface.
And are you pleased with the end result?
ST: We are absolutely delighted. It took hundreds of hours of development, but we succeed in printing Eley Kishimoto’s beautiful patterns onto one of the most difficult areas of our product to produce three wonderful and unique editions of the Original 1227™ product.
ME: Yes! We’re not only thrilled with the lamps, we’re also delighted to have successfully aligned two design icons in a new collaboration that functions on many levels. Our original concept for the lamps has become a reality and they are very special pieces of art for anyone to enjoy.
Anglepoise® + Centre Point Original 1227™ desk lamps, RRP £200, are available from the Anglepoise online shop.
Read more about the collaboration: www.anglepoise.com/centre-point
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