As part of Paris Design Week, Montreal-based lighting studio Lambert & Fils has exclusively created a mesmerising display in the windows of our Paris store. Playing with mirrors, curtains and ideas of multiplication, the inspiring ‘Reflector’ installation is composed of sculptural lamps from the Laurent collection. We’ve caught up with Samuel Lambert to discuss his design process and inspiration, even touching on lighting as an art form vs. lighting as an art of seduction…
What was your first introduction to lighting design?
When I opened my small workshop in 2010, my intention was to restore Eames chairs that I had been collecting over the years. I also restored a few old lamps and other items. The chairs sold out within a few months and I soon realized that restoring a classic chair is a fundamentally limited act. Lighting became my new passion as it urged me to solve technical problems, while offering unlimited creative possibilities. I taught myself the techniques, complexities and subtleties of the world of lighting and I loved it.
But to be honest, initially, it was to charm my wife.
Would you describe lighting as an art form?
Yes, I would say it is, but then again, what I find most interesting about lighting design is that it sits on the edge between art and functional object.
What are your main considerations with designing a lighting concept?
Simplicity is a rule of art that I highly respect. Yet the object itself has to be appealing: one has to feel a certain emotional link to the object.
How has the city of Montreal inspired your design outlook and process?
Montreal is an approachable city where industrial and green space harmoniously cohabit. This somehow is reflected in the relationship we maintain with our local suppliers: we work together towards one goal. I believe that Montreal is a city that is highly focused on its inhabitants, on the people factor.
Have you visited Paris during Design Week? Where are your favourite hot spots in the City of Lights?
As I’m always in a rush when in Paris, I haven’t spent much time exploring the city. But my dear friend Rachel, who’s been a resident for the past 10 years, has suggested many spots that I hope to visit during my stay this week, such as the Point Éphémère rooftop, Le Syndicat bar rue du Faubourg St-Denis or stop for a coffee at the Fontaine de Belleville.
How important is it to ensure your modern designs maintain a nostalgic, mid-century aesthetic?
Actually, it isn’t, at least not anymore. I think this was relevant when we started as we needed to have references to direct our creativity. But as we develop more and more ideas, we gained confidence and we slowly detached ourselves from our initial inspiration. We finally found our creative comfort spot. Time to move forward instead of leaning on our predecessors’ accomplishments.
What advice would you give to someone looking to restyle their home lighting?
Go with your feelings but do not to shy away from diversity: choose a variety of brands. Mix it up.
Catch Reflector throughout September in the windows of our Paris store, and head in-store from 9-13th September to see how we’re celebrating Paris Design Week.
Shop our entire Lambert & Fils collection here.