Meet the Makers: Apparatus Studio

Fashion background turned lighting designers
Posted in Meet the Makers | Posted on by lianna | COMMENT

Apparatus Lighting
Founders: Gabriel Hendfair and Jeremy Anderson
“Handcrafted, utilitarian fixtures made from a combination of salvaged and new components.”

Where do you find the inspiration for your work?

This goes back to form and material. I see interesting forms and shapes in the world everywhere. Architecture, art, fashion. These inspire points of departure for our pieces. It’s apparent from their names: Compass, Cloud, Twig.  Similarly, materials are inspirational and determine form. This is most apparent in our found object pieces, like our Bowl Sconces or Column Lamps.

The most elusive inspiration is emotional—when I aspire to give an object a feeling or disposition- a playful lamp, or a nonchalant chandelier. It can be silly, but I think it is in these little choices we make that objects are elevated and given life.

How did you get started in this field/ industry?

I was trained as a costume and scenic designer and have been primarily designing womenswear for the past 10 years– first with JMary then with Raquel Allegra. I took on interior design clients as a way to expand my perspective and sharpen my eye. I really value an interdisciplinary approach—design solutions become more rich and layered that way.

APPARTUS was conceived when Jeremy and I moved in together a few years ago. We were redesigning our apartment and I couldn’t find the fixtures I wanted to hang in our space–something that strikes a smart balance between utilitarian and decorative.

Tell us about your design process.

It’s a rather playful process. Sometimes I sketch, sometimes I take things apart and put them back together again. There is a lot of exploration and a good amount of walking away and waiting to see if an idea sticks. Stickiness is the key. We can make a lot of beautiful things, but the essential ones stick. Jeremy, my partner, really hones me in. He’s an eagle eye and a great editor. We start to bounce and build ideas off of each other, and good things become better things.

How has your design process changed since your started?

Well, it’s become a little more formal. We are building a studio and a team, which allows me to think more conceptually and not feel as bound by what I can actually make with my own two hands. It’s freeing.

What is your favorite material to work with?

Brass is a standby for us, and I’m always surprised at how it elevates every context or material we mix it with. Right now we’re pointing in the direction of porcelain, resin, horsehair and even some rubber for our next collection.

How does your personal style influence your brand/ company/ products, etc?

I try to aim for a sense of timelessness. And often that is more about the heft and material of an object than about its style. Something that feels thoughtfully conceived is timeless to me, whether inspired by classical architecture, or modern art. These are the kinds of interiors and products that most inspire me as well—spaces and objects of significance that are collected and speak to each other in a way that transcends stylistic boundaries.

Where do you imagine you’ll take the company next?

In my head, the plan is to expand our world to include various great objects. Wallpaper, some select pieces of furniture, accessories.

Who would be a dream collaborator?

We’d love to collaborate with Dyson on a sophisticated, efficient ceiling fan. Call us, James Dyson!

What colors/ patterns are you drawn to right now? 

I’ve been obsessing over the palettes and shapes of Sol Lewitt’s geometric drawings. We’re using this as a jumping off point for wall paintings in our hallway at home. Think Sol Lewitt meets three shades of supermarket panty hose.

What’s one tip you would give to people getting into this business?

Make what you want to see in the world. Learn enough of the rules to be able to break them confidently.

Who do you see as an innovator or who do you look up to in this field/ industry?

I’m most inspired by people who are able to gracefully blur the lines between design disciplines and create beautiful things. That feels very innovative to me. Yves Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane, David Hicks, Tony Duquette.

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