Issue Extra: The (Re)Purpose of Design

A chandelier by Stuart Haygarth hangs in Chaya Downtown, an AIA|LA Restaurant Design Award–winning space by Anthony Poon, of Poon Design. Poon collaborated with Haygarth’s studio on the design, and the installation was done by hand with Haygarth’s representatives.The chandelier features some 1,500 objects on 400 strings with a 60-watt light bulb in the middle. Photography by Gregg Segal/Courtesy Poon Design.In our current issue’s Workbook, we explore the work of artists and designers who are re-purposing and recycling materials into stunning and innovative new pieces. In this excerpt, we get to know London-based lightign designer Stuart Haygarth, who’s established a following on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Whether he’s using discarded spectacles, empty bottles of Tide or smashed car mirrors, Stuart Haygarth imaginatively repurposes objects into striking chandeliers. He created “Urchin”, a shaggy, organic looking fixture from the arms of glasses. While riding his bicycle around the city, Haygarth noticed the lenses covering car lights and saw them as intricate lampshades, transforming them into elegant pendant lights. And, just imagine what he can do with the bottoms of plastic water bottles collected from Stansted Airport —a beautiful chandelier in the shape of a water drop.

What drew you to re-appropriating materials into lighting?

I work with existing objects, which have a history or story. My collecting of objects started [when I] was an illustrator, when my work was collage based. In a similar way to the artist Joseph Cornell, I created environments or assemblages using found objects and materials. Over the years, I built up an archive of objects and was an avid collector, finding materials from flea markets, charity shops, beaches and streets. After 15 years of working as an illustrator, I decided to combine my interest in sculpture and lighting [with] my passion for collecting.

What inspires you to start a new project?

Projects tend to start from finding or noticing a single object that interests me, both from a visual standpoint and from its narrative. The object or objects will gestate in my studio for some time, while over the following months, I will think about possible ideas surrounding the object. The idea may come almost immediately or take several years or not [happen] at all.

Where do you get your materials?

I find my working materials from various places such as flea markets, car boot sales, beaches, urban streets and Ebay, but an idea may be triggered from something I see while cycling or on a train. The objects don’t necessarily have to be found they can also be purchased new.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a suspended artwork for the new [headquarters] of Coca Cola in London, preparing a body of new work for a solo show at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris, and designing some jewelry for the Louisa Guinness Gallery in London.

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