Sunday, January 23, 2011


British designer PAUL COCKSEDGE (1978-) creates visually spectacular and technically ingenious lights that celebrate the magical and transformative qualities of illumination. Together with Joana Pinho, he set up Paul Cocksedge Studio in 2004. His output includes lighting for manufacturers such as Flos and Established & Sons, window displays for Hermès and the Wellcome Trust and sculptural installations for the Design Museum and the London Design Festival. The Studio explores the limits of technology and materials. Whether working with complex technology, inexpensive found materials like polystyrene vending machine cups or exquisite hand-made glass, Paul Cocksedge designs and produces visually arresting objects and environments that engage or even invite involvement.

Born in London in 1978, Cocksedge studied industrial design at Sheffield Hallam University and product design under Ron Arad at the Royal College of Art in London. While studying there he met his business partner Joana Pinho and was introduced by Arad to the Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake and German lighting designer Ingo Maurer, both of whom have staged exhibitions of his work. Maurer went so far as to give Paul a show within his own show at Milan Design Week 2003, introducing 'Styrene', 'NeON', and an early work that was to be developed into ‘Life 01’ for Flos.

Initially drawn to light with its freedom from the constraints of gravity, Cocksedge, produced suspended works including 'Styrene', 'NeON', 'Crystalized', 'Sapphire Light' and 'Veil'.

Thought-provoking and often witty, his self-termed “logically constructed illogical constructs” include 'Watt?', illuminated by joining up the pencil strokes on a piece of paper; 'Life 01', activated by placing a fresh flower in and out of water; 'NeON', fired by single core cabling and 'Pole', a bright light without heat. ‘Kiss’ in Milan and a window display for Hermès are among his recent design installations that have taken his work from lighting into the realm of environmental sculpture. Producing both commercial and experimental work, Paul Cocksedge has recently been commissioned by the London Design Festival to produce a piece of public art ‘Drop’, a huge magnetic coin-form onto which passers by were invited to place and arrange one-pence pieces. For Corian® and the V&A, an installation of three hundred beautiful curvaceous paper trays. Not lights, these works hint at the future creative direction of the Studio.


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