"We were looking for something that spoke to the dichotomy between complexity and utility. There is something oddly complex about our fixtures, but ultimately I think the pieces achieve their function in quite a utilitarian way."
Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson are Apparatus, a studio creating beautiful handcrafted lighting. For those in Los Angeles, selections from their latest line can be seen at Gallery L7. I recently had a conversation with Gabriel who now lives in New York about his company, and his past as a fashion designer.
How did you arrive at the name APPARATUS?
Gabriel: We were looking for something that spoke to the dichotomy between complexity and utility. There is something oddly complex about our fixtures, but ultimately I think the pieces achieve their function in quite a utilitarian way. We wrestled with this for weeks, and it came to Jeremy in an inspired moment. The word conjures a certain intricacy but has a very simple meaning.
Why did you begin to create a lighting line, did you see a need in the market?
Yes, in a way. I noticed that I wasn’t seeing what we wanted to hang in our space-- something that strikes a smart balance between utilitarian and decorative. I wanted to see fixtures that felt handled and related to the past but said something new.
Brass has become a popular choice of material in interior design again. Materials: how do you arrive at them, and any new materials you are excited to work with?
Brass was a natural choice. I love it’s warmth and I think that’s much of the reason it is being used so widely again. When we oxidize our components, it is fascinating to see the range of patinas that results from the differences in the zinc to copper ratio. Some of my favorite pieces in the collection are built around found objects, which then inspire exploration of new materials. I’m excited about working more with reclaimed wood and blown glass. A friend has been using horsehair in her jewelry design and I’m very curious to play with that in our world.
Where are these works made?
The pieces are manufactured in our New York studio. We work with artisans to develop metal and wood components, but Jeremy and I ultimately assemble every piece individually.
You have a fashion background, and also work as an interior designer. In your current interior design, talk about what sort of rooms and spaces inspire you?
I was trained as a costume and scenic designer and have been primarily designing womenswear for the past 10 years-- first with JMary then with Raquel Allegra. I took on interior design clients as a way to expand my perspective and sharpen my eye. Right now the rooms that resonate most with me are those that feel curated rather than designed-- eclectic, surprising, a little off. I have only done residential until now, but there are a few possible retail projects in the pipeline that are very intriguing, both for the interior design possibilities and because we will have the opportunity to design site-specific lighting fixtures.
A home should:
Be comfortable and familiar enough for a soft landing, but also be a little challenging. Keep you on your toes-- like a good relationship.
2 things I would never guess to ask you..
-1. Sometimes I daydream about being a concert pianist. I was trained until the age of 14 and still play. Finding an apartment in NY that would accommodate the grand piano was definitely a challenge.
-2. I’m fascinated by swimwear and underwear. I think our next project is going to be a men’s underwear line. There is a huge gap in the market for well-made, thoughtful, underwear that is not brand-emblazoned or misdirected in it image of masculinity.
for more of APPARATUS
see more images here... at Gallery L7