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London Craft Week • In Conversation With Anthony Dickens

Taking part in a spellbinding installation in our Marylebone Store this London Craft Week, we talk to Anthony Dickens, the founder of Studio Make Believe and creator of the unique Tekiò light.

A unique lamp configuration covered with paper and held together with magnets, Tekiò, meaning adaptation in Japanese, was inspired by traditional Chōchin lanterns and is being unveiled for the very first time in-store at The Conran Shop.

We caught up with designer Antony Dickens on the inspiration and process behind Tekiò and what it was like to work with Barcelona-based lighting specialist Santa & Cole.


What was it about traditional Japanese lanterns that inspired you?

I spent five weeks touring Japan with my partner in 2009, and we both fell in love with the country. The project that became Tekiò started life as an exploration in light through materials, process and making - creating lights that have an innate sensitivity and lightness is incredibly important to me.

When I started to explore the idea for a modular light that could respond and adapt to different spaces, I drew on my memories seeing Chōchin lamps all across Japan. They are stronger and more resilient than they look - some are nearly 100 years old - but I love the apparent fragility of the construction and the exquisite craftsmanship revealed when the lamp is illuminated.


A closer look at Tekiò | Image courtesy of Anthony Dickens ©

A closer look at Tekiò | Image courtesy of Anthony Dickens ©



Where does your creative process begin?

It starts with a problem found through my own experiences, learning and observations, or a brief might trigger an idea.


How can good lighting affect our lives?

In the context of a living space, good lighting is as much about shadow as it is about light. It is light and shadow working together that visibly defines the attributes of the space we inhabit and the objects we surround ourselves with. New studies are finding that placing lights in interior spaces to recreate a rhythm of light and dark improves concentration, comfort and wellbeing. The visual contrast it creates allows the eye to instinctively move between different zones to aid the task their brain is currently trying to complete– focus, deep thought, relaxation and so on.


What do you most enjoy about working alongside Santa & Cole?

Three friends founded Santa & Cole, and two of them soon became family. This close culture is still very prevalent over 30 years later, and I most enjoy spending time with the team, especially in Belloch, their incredible home just outside of Barcelona. There is a calmness that is hard to find in London that ensures I leave inspired and open to new possibilities.


The Conran Shop is the first global retailer to unveil Tekiò. Available in-store and online, the unique light will make up a striking installation in our Marylebone store throughout Craft Week, from 9th-13th May. Celebrate with us at our Tekiò launch party on 10th May 2018 from 6.30-9pm. RSVP here.

To discover what else we have going on at The Conran Shop for London Craft Week 2018, click here.