The shortest day of winter may be behind us, but, we’re sorry to inform you, there’s still plenty of early sun-downs ahead. A key to managing the short days is good interior lighting – and lots of it. From table to floor lamps, task to pendant lights, getting your interior lighting right is key to crafting a warm, moody atmosphere at home. And while the Dutch, Danes, and Italians are traditionally considered the industry’s masters, Canadian designers have also been making a name for themselves in the lighting world in recent years. We’ve drafted an introduction to Canadian lighting design, with an eye to, ahem, brightening your winter.
Lambert & Fils
Lambert & Fils has come a long way since 2010, when Samuel Lambert launched his lighting brand from a tiny Montréal shopfront. In 2019, the brand made an international splash at Milan’s Euroluce show and took another major step in December, opening a showroom in Manhattan. For the occasion, Lambert & Fils officially launched Atelier. The collection adapts the brand’s Sainte fixtures, a series of suspension lights built of laminated glass panels, to fit large interior spaces.
Tom Chung Studio
Vancouver-born industrial designer Tom Chung has found success with big name Scandinavian manufacturers for good reason: his designs are smart, honest, and adaptable. Chung’s Beam Lamp, produced by Copenhagen’s Muuto, doubles as a task or ambient light thanks to its clever design, which sees a single-beam of light travel through both its ends.
Some designers do the bulk of their conceptual design work on computers. Not Bocci. The genius of the Vancouver lighting studio, founded by Omer Arbel back in 2005, is rooted in Arbel’s appetite for experimenting with glass and other materials. The result is often endlessly inventive chandeliers, which have become favourites of architecture firms like Foster + Partners and Herzog & de Meuron.
Toronto-based lighting and product studio Anony has been busy collaborating with Canadian retailer EQ3 in recent years. Among the collaborations: the Glub Lamp, an indoor-outdoor lamp made of frosted silicone, and the Fount Collection, which emits a warm glow thanks to its light source being hidden behind a layer of rippled, frosted glass.
Jamie Wolfond Studio
Jamie Wolfond Studio planned to debut a new collection at Milan’s Salone Satellite show last April, until Covid-19 scuttered the show altogether. Instead, Wolfond has periodically taken to Instagram in recent months to unveil the collection’s unseen pieces. A highlight is the Owl floor lamp, which is inspired by drinking straws and driveshafts. While it isn’t available to consumers just yet, our fingers are crossed that will change.
ANDlight’s designs are everywhere, from Spotify’s offices in Manhattan to Shopify’s offices in Toronto. The Vancouver-based studio is helmed by business director Matt Davis, while design duties are split between Lukas Peet and Caine Heintzman. Peet’s Pebble fixtures, a series of frosty orbs inspired by rocks smoothed by running water, are a standout. As is Heintzman’s Vine series, which stacks glass globes linked by a chrome tube to dramatic effect.
Jessica Nakanishi and Jonathan Sabine’s MSDS (“Make shit, design shit”) Studio has also won over Scandinavian tastemakers all the way from Toronto. The pair have designed furniture for the likes of Muuto, +Halle, and Normann Copenhagen. Their Annular light for Danish brand Woud puts a modern spin on a classic form: the cone-shaped pendant lamp. Instead of hiding a bulb inside the shade, the light-source is an LED that rings the cone’s outer edge.
Castor’s Recycled Tube Light has become something of a Canadian design icon since it debuted more than a decade ago. A bundle of burnt-out fluorescent bulbs lit from within, the light is a fixture of global hotels, restaurants, and offices. It even made a special appearance last April, when it was photographed lighting the Paris studio of Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director for menswear.
The British-Canadian designer is truly international, having went to school in Eindhoven, Paris, and Montreal. Now London-based, Malouin has amassed a heady name of clients for his furniture and product designs, including Iittala, Hem, and the Ace Hotel. His Arca lighting system for Brooklyn manufacturer Matter-Made upends notions of what a chandelier should be with its seemingly simple, frill-free form.
Lamps made of Japanese washi paper have long been a designer favourite thanks to their warm glow. The Cloud Softlight lamps from Vancouver’s Molo are made from a synthetic material that replicates how washi paper diffuses light. Not only are the sculptural lamps easy on the eyes, but they dampen noise too.