BR I L L I ANT wo r k

Founder and cre­ative di­rec­tor of Ar­ti­colo, Nicci Green has crafted a gallery-like stu­dio in Mel­bourne to il­lu­mi­nate her range of ar­ti­sanal light­ing.

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WPHILOSOPHY AND AES­THETIC? I’ve never been for­mally trained in de­sign, and I don’t come from a light­ing back­ground, so in that sense I’m not re­stricted by a tra­di­tional ap­proach. In­stead it’s an in­nate process, in­formed by the way I see the world and my life ex­pe­ri­ences. I have al­ways been drawn to a Euro­pean de­sign sen­si­bil­ity that cel­e­brates crafts­man­ship, time­less­ness and the ar­ti­sanal. I started my ca­reer as a food stylist in Paris, which taught me the process of re­duc­tion and sim­pli­fi­ca­tion. IS THERE A COM­MON EL­E­MENT OR AP­PROACH THAT RUNS THROUGH ALL AS­PECTS OF YOUR WORK? I love the ar­ti­sanal na­ture and nu­ances of mouth-blown glass and solid met­als. It’s im­por­tant that each de­sign re­flects the many hands that have produced it. It’s the hu­man el­e­ment that in many ways we’re los­ing through mass pro­duc­tion, but I strongly be­lieve there’s no sub­sti­tute for the hand­made. WHAT INI­TIALLY AP­PEALED TO YOU ABOUT THE SITE OF YOUR STU­DIO AND WHAT DID THE AL­TER­ATIONS EN­TAIL? Ini­tially it was the lo­ca­tion on an unas­sum­ing side street in in­ner-city Rich­mond. I’ve al­ways found the magic of cities like Mi­lan or Paris is in the back­streets where show­rooms and ate­liers are stum­bled upon. On an emo­tional level I was im­me­di­ately taken by the Boston ivy on the fa­cade, and the space just felt ‘right’. We wanted to show­case our light­ing in a space more akin to a gallery than a tra­di­tional show­room. The re­sult rep­re­sents my vi­sion for how Ar­ti­colo pieces beau­ti­fully in­ter­sect with in­te­rior spa­ces. The floor­plan was adapted by repo­si­tion­ing walls to cre­ate co­he­sive spa­ces that tell the var­ied sto­ries of our light­ing. I worked with ar­chi­tect David Goss of Stu­dio Goss on the project. HOW WOULD YOU DE­SCRIBE THE COM­PLETED SPACE? It is an ex­plo­ration of tex­ture and ma­te­ri­al­ity, re­flect­ing our de­sign ethos. It com­prises show­room, stu­dio and work­shop, so it’s the full Ar­ti­colo ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s an in­ti­mate and quiet space de­signed to in­spire a sense of dis­cov­ery with a se­ries of de­sign ‘mo­ments’ an­chored by the form and lu­mi­nance of our col­lec­tions. I work long hours and am of­ten at my desk till late, with our light­ing throw­ing su­perb shad­ows, mu­sic

play­ing, a glass of wine, the doors to the up­stairs court­yard open and light danc­ing off the ivy. It is the most cre­ative space I can imag­ine. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DE­SIGN EL­E­MENTS? The space has so many sub­tle lay­ers. Hard wax plas­ter, con­crete ren­der and a ter­razzo floor. Pale wide floor­boards bring a sense of calm, and in­laid fine brass pan­els speak to my love of con­trast­ing ma­te­ri­al­ity. I’m pas­sion­ate about well-de­signed and en­gi­neered fit­tings; shadow lines, mouth-blown glass, nat­u­ral and hand­crafted fin­ishes. Noth­ing in our de­sign process is easy, and we don’t take any short­cuts. WHAT IS THE ETHOS BE­HIND YOUR WORK AND HOW IS THIS RE­FLECTED IN THE DE­SIGN OF YOUR SPACE? Mix­ing medi­ums where there is a sim­patico is an im­por­tant part of our ethos, whether in the show­room de­sign or our prod­ucts them­selves. Shadow play is fun­da­men­tal. I want our light­ing to pro­vide a ‘mo­ment’ that you hap­pen upon. I treat light­ing as an art piece. Func­tional, yes, but so much more. IS THERE A PAR­TIC­U­LAR AR­CHI­TEC­TURAL ERA OR STYLE THAT RES­ONATES WITH YOU? I draw in­spi­ra­tion from many styles: Palm Springs mod­ernism for its low-rise style and in­te­gra­tion of in­door/ out­door and fo­cus on nat­u­ral light; Scan­di­na­vian min­i­mal­ism; and my favourite, Bel­gian style. It seems to seam­lessly marry ma­te­ri­al­ity and re­straint with the right amount of de­tail­ing and tex­tured fin­ishes. WHICH DE­SIGN­ERS AND ARTISTS DO YOU AD­MIRE? Vin­cent Van Duy­sen has tran­scended architecture, in­te­rior de­sign and prod­uct de­sign and ex­celled in all. Chris­tian Li­ai­gre has had a sim­i­lar tra­jec­tory. I also love the work of Aus­tralian artist Sally Ross. Ali­son Jack­son, also Aus­tralian, is an ex­tra­or­di­nary sil­ver­smith. Ev­ery­where I travel I look for lo­cal ar­ti­sans and crafts­peo­ple. It in­tro­duces me to new think­ing, new tech­niques and new tal­ent. WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOK­ING FOR­WARD TO IN THE COM­ING

YEAR? ARE THERE ANY NEW DI­REC­TIONS OR DE­SIGN CHAL­LENGES THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO PUR­SUE? We are work­ing on a small cap­sule col­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture pieces, man­u­fac­tured in Aus­tralia with our sig­na­ture Ar­ti­colo aes­thetic. A longer term goal is to col­lab­o­rate with an ar­chi­tect on a ho­tel or re­sort im­bued with the Ar­ti­colo sen­si­bil­ity. A dream I’d love to see come true. ar­ti­colo­light­ing.com

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