Hide Leather Lights by Sydney based design studio AN/AESTHETIC. Photo – Eve Wilson.
I am not often negative, so I hope I am not going to offend too many people by saying I went to DesignEX in Melbourne recently and it was pretty CRAP. Ok there were some interesting things. But these were few and far between, nestled between a vast sea of LED screens and energy saving light globes. I actually found it a bit depressing… But THANKFULLY we did spot ONE cute new blog-worthy thing there, so if nothing else, that made the reluctant annual DesignEX pilgrimage worthwhile.
The blog-worthy item in question are these sweet leather pendant lamps by Sydney based studio AN/AESTHETIC. Such a simple twist on a classic design, and the perfect combination of tactile materials – leather, brass and / or ceramic hardware, and cloth covered cord.
AN/AESTHETIC is the studio of industrial designer Ben Wahrlich, and graphic designer Kiri Hughes, who originally hail from NZ. ’We met through a mutual friend while we were both living in Christchurch’ says Kiri. ‘We quickly realised we shared a similar love of design, art, architecture and music. We both knew that to follow our design passion we needed to move to a bigger city, and within a year of meeting we found ourselves in Sydney’. The pair launched their studio in Sydney’s inner West in 2011.
The idea for these ‘Hide’ leather lights came to Ben as a bolt out of the blue. ’I literally woke up one morning and thought, ‘what about leather lights?’ says Ben. ’After researching forming techniques and looking at my leather bicycle seat, we knew that there was an opportunity to create a shade using this type of production, and incorporate it into lighting, creating something very bespoke and new in the market’ he explains.
Ben and Kiri source their leather locally, selecting each hide individually. The shades are laser cut by a local Sydney based company, and moulded by Ben and Kiri in their studio, to form the pendant shape. Each light is then assembled and packaged by hand in Ben and Kiri’s studio, using brass and ceramic hardware components imported from Europe. ’We like to have a hands on approach to our work, and as an independent studio, we have to be across all aspects of the business – it’s a very personal approach!’ says Ben.
Hide Leather Lights by Sydney based design studio AN/AESTHETIC. Photo - Eve Wilson.
Hide Leather Lights by AN/AESTHETIC. Photo - Eve Wilson.