See the Light

Toronto-based designer Alex Josephson’s ghostly Gweilo light triumphed in the “Established” category of the third annual Lighting Architecture Movement Project (LAMP) design competition this year. Comprised of sheaves of optical acrylic fiber molded by hand in a 400 degree oven, Josephson’s Gweilo fixtures rise up from the ground like undulating, tissue-thin stalagmites, casting a luminous glow. “It was not like designing a light in a traditional sense, wherein you would find a way to shroud a light in some sort of shade,” explains Josephson of the process of creating Gweilo alongside a small team from PARTISANS architecture and design firm, which he co-founded in 2011. “We were into a light that pooled, drooped, did things that light doesn’t usually do. It isn’t a decorative object, it’s a spatial experience.” LAMP’s judges, including Bocci designer Omer Arbel, were impressed. “I like this work because the combination of light at the edge and luminescence throughout gives it a layered reading,” says Arbel of Gweilo’s winning characteristics, “it offsets the simplicity of the design.” Gweilo represents Josephson’s first foray into the realm of lighting design, but the success of the “pet project” has been motivational: “We have the ambition to turn this project into a product line,” he says.