Melbourne based Industrial Designer, Christopher Boots began his architectural lighting design practice in April 2011. Since then, Boots’ output of bespoke hand crafted lighting transforms architecture has been huge. With some exciting projects currently on the go, we catch up with the designer.
December 18th, 2014
IDL: Please tell us about your current projects:
CB: We have a diverse range of projects on the go, spanning high end residential, hospitality and commercial projects, both locally and internationally. Most of our projects are based in the United States, probably due to the scale of the market there being much broader and generally more mature than what’s possible in locally.
Australia is still a very bustling market for high quality residential projects, amongst our star clients I’m very proud to be working with Elenberg Fraser, who in my humble opinion are pushing the envelope in terms of high quality architecture imbuing value in the built environment of Melbourne that is rapidly transforming our once quiet city into a denser polis.
The Ralston in South Yarra, is a perfect example of this. We’ve worked hand in hand with EF to create a premium outcome that references craftsmanship and detail, which we have carried through into a marriage of bronze and glass to create a unique tailored installation.
IDL: What have been the most exciting and challenging aspects of these?”
CB: Amongst the most challenging aspects of these projects is the demand for high quality, well-resolved outcomes in as fast as possible turn around. It’s not surprising now to receive a brief with very short project timelines. It’s like we’re almost working at the pace of the fashion industry! It’s a twin edged blade though, as this adrenaline-like quality is very exciting to work with. Collaborating with like minded firms whose practice is based on investigation and trialling out ideas, is a breath of fresh air in the often far too safe (=dollar driven) world of construction architecture.
IDL: How has your personal style or philosophy come through?”
CB: The underlying philosophy that informs my work is based on minimalism combined with an honest approach to materiality to express an idea. I find this approach tends to produce timeless work that can age gracefully and be considered as future antiques. While it sounds very lofty and simple, the actual output and creation of the work is often far more complicated than that. The custom designed pieces for the Ralston have certainly conveyed this philosophy.
IDL: What do you believe to be the main forces and challenges for the practice of lighting design currently?
CB: Current needs from our target audience have been a requirement for the human to be considered central in the design process. Is the lighting welcoming enough? Does it create an appropriate ambience? Can the occupants use the lighting in the space flexibly enough between the days and nights? Is the piece unique enough in its presence? What story is it telling? Is it saying what we want it to say?”
These driving forces must be answered in any approach to lighting design if there is any chance that a space is to be considered successful in its resolve to house and inspire humans day to day.
IDL: What are the most exciting?”
CB: The most exciting forces, personally, are simply working with people. People are strange, as Jim Morrison said, and that is an endless source of inspiration and entertainment. Alone, we are self-referential, in a group, dynamic and inclusive, with outcomes that are beneficial to the whole.
Christopher Boots Hermès NYC window display
IDL: What are your plans for the future?”
CB: There are many plans for the year ahead, business-wise, mostly centred around managing growth, including setting up a new production space, which is super exciting that the studio now is at the stage- we’ve been working production and administration all in one large open space until now which has been very challenging, (the sounds of drills and Macs are an annoying mix!) and 2015 also brings new products to extend the range. Personally, making time to reflect on what this all means is of course paramount to a healthy work-life balance. What does it all mean? I guess meaning is what we decide to assign it…
IDL: What advice do you have for aspiring designers?”
CB: Follow your heart.
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