Elana Castle catches up with Melburnian lighting luminary Christopher Boots following his participation in the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York.
May 31st, 2016
ELANA CASTLE: ICFF showcases some of the best high end furniture and lighting on a global platform. Have you always had a desire to exhibit at the show?
CHRISTOPHER BOOTS: Many of our projects are based in New York but we’re yet to find the local gallery with our crystal slipper. Rather than waiting for Prince Charming, we decided to take our fixtures and create a temporary space, where New York clients could see the work in a fully bloomed environment. ICFF had always been on our radar and we decided it would be the right time to jump in.
CASTLE: What was the primary idea behind your booth design?
BOOTS: Let’s be honest, ICFF is big fair fair and it can become exhausting for visitors and exhibitors alike. The conceptual underpinning for our presentation was to create a luscious hideaway where people could see our work whilst having a private and intimate moment amongst the sea of booths (and bodies) . Essentially we wanted to slow the viewer down and hopefully provide a quiet moment of respite. This philosophy is echoed in our Melbourne showroom and it was important for the two to be in harmony.
CASTLE: You collaborated with Woods Bagot on the design. Why did you choose to work with an architectural firm and how did you work collectively?
BOOTS: We have collaborated with Woods Bagot in the past and we share the same desire to create more human-centered experiences. Woods Bagot achieves this through the creation of space and we do it through light. After a few initial conversations, we gave Woods Bagot full creative control of the booth design and they knocked it out of the park. They came up with the concept of a floating industrial ceiling which curtains hung from. This allowed full control of curtain positing and we could adjust the booth entrances and create mini spaces within.
Both light and space came together and we’re extremely thankful to the Woods Bagot team for their support.
CASTLE: Which of your fixtures did you showcase and why?
BOOTS: We exhibited Simple Negative, Simple Positive, Phasmida, ORP, Oracle, Portal Table Lamp and BCAA. The lighting from our Open Collection has a more industrial aesthetic. We also exhibited fixtures (like Phasmida and ORP) from our original offering as well as Oracle and Portal Table Lamp which are more recent creations. All use minimalist processes to highlight the beauty and materiality of their base elements – brass, bronze, steel, marble etc.
CASTLE: How did ICFF broaden your reach in the art and design community?
BOOTS: We met all sorts of unique people during the experience. We already had a tight community here in New York but being able meet face to face, rather than via email was great. Our philosophy embraces technology but this is no substitute for physical interaction. We’re lucky enough to say that leaving New York we have many more friends in the city.
CASTLE: How would you sum up the experience? Any key lessons?
BOOTS: Keep it simple and breathe
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