Emerging talents shine in LAMP’s third annual lighting design competition

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      Life-size candlesticks, faceted pendants carved from natural stone, and a kaleidoscopic lantern that converts light into multiple hues and shapes—these are just some of the new-fangled creations you can expect to find at LAMP’s third annual international lighting design competition.

      Founded in Vancouver, LAMP highlights established and up-and-coming artists, designers, and architects with an eye for the experimental. The project began as a way to merge cofounders Annika Hagen and Nicole Fox’s shared interests in lighting, architecture, and movement but has since grown to become a submissions-based competition with a focus on lighting design.

      “It feels like we’ve just landed in a little pocket that a lot people were looking for,” Hagen tells the Straight in a phone interview. “There’s a real emergence of lighting designers and young people who are thinking, ‘I want to do what I don’t see in stores.’”

      This year, the competition drew 90 submissions from as far as Sweden, Hong Kong, and Australia. Each piece was judged on a number of criteria, such as aesthetics, function, and creative interpretation of the theme—in this case, crystallize—by an esteemed panel that included Tom Dixon, Michael Anastassiades, and local design pros Nancy Bendsten, Omer Abel, and John Patkau.

      Toronto-based architect Alex Josephson took home the top prize in the Established category for Gweilo, his family of beautifully warped, phantasmic fixtures. Each light in the collection is made from an acrylic sheet that is hand-sculpted at a malleable temperature and then attached with thin strips of LED bulbs. The result is an object that seems to alter the light source itself, emitting a translucent glow from every one of its carefully placed curves.

      “This is the realization of the idea that light can bend, drip, and be fluid or frozen in space,” explains Josephson by phone. “These ideas are all crystallized into pieces that we’ve created at different scales—chandeliers, wall pieces, standing lamps, room dividers.”

      Two Vancouver-based designers received honourable mentions in the Emergent and Student categories. Randall Zieber transformed alabaster into angular pendant lights for the former group while Aaron Oussoren and Shaun Arden developed renderings of 3-D-printed solid cast glass for the latter.

      Lighting entries from all 30 finalists, which range from renderings and prototypes to completed objects, will be showcased at LAMP’s four-day exhibit. The event will also feature Sound Clouds, a special art installation by Vancouver designer Alex Beim of Tangible Interactions.

      The LAMP exhibit runs from tonight (November 12) to Sunday at Jan Kath Studio (505 Railway Street). Tickets are required for opening night and can be purchased in advance online. Admission is by donation from Friday to Sunday.

      For more information, visit LAMP’s website.