An interview with Mathew Hardwick, Luum
London-based contemporary lighting studio, Luum, design and deliver spectacular lighting installations for some of the world’s finest interiors. Project manager, Mathew Hardwick, joined the company earlier this year with a background in interior architecture and design. In this interview, Mathew discusses the most important stage in the installation process, the company’s bespoke capabilities, working with a range of artisanal craftsman and Luum’s plans for 2017.
What initially attracted you to Luum as a company?
I came across Luum through the Euroluce show in 2015. Bangle and Pollen were the first installations I saw. The detail, high quality finish and simple but smart approach, certainly stuck with me. After being with Luum for nearly 3 months, it is clear that these qualities are not just part of the design approach, but are part and part of Luums integrity and principles as a Lighting Design Studio. These are certainly reasons why I see myself being part of Luum, for a good time to come – if they’ll have me.
Below: Luum at Euroluce 2015, Pollen installation
What is the most exciting project you have worked on so far with Luum, or are looking forward to working on?
We’re currently working on and installing Flurry into the foyer of a commercial property in London. This is the first installation of Flurry we’ve done and its great to see the component parts being turned into a Light Installation. This is certainly the most exciting to date but I envisage this will be the case each time I work on a new installation.
What is currently your favourite installation from Luum’s product range and why so?
Bangle. The clean/sharp lines, finish and random arrangement. It looks like someone has thrown a handful of pyramids in the air that are suspended in time. The suspended LED’s reflect and provide a shot of light on and around each of the polished faces. I have only seen Bangle in photos and it looks surreal. It is the product that we probably get most enquiries about.
From conceptualisation through to finalised install, what do you think is the most important part of Luum’s installation process?
From experience, research and development is the most important stage. Even when all the kinks have been figured out, processes finalised and the first sample made, you can probably re-make it all over again. Each element is often open to re-interpretation and scrutiny. We are doing this at the minute with Bangle – after producing it several times, we’re looking at how to produce it more efficiently with fewer components and with an easier assembly.
Luum recently featured a number of installations at a collaborative event with John Cullen and Artiq. Can you tell us some more about this?
John Cullen invited us to install some of our products over London Design Festival. Artiq – an art rental company, presented some pieces to sit along side the Luum installations and the collaboration made the showroom feel very comfortable and more like someone’s home than a typical installation space. Flame was installed within the John Cullen ‘hub’ – a space to give presentations and tutorials on lighting, while Leaf and Raindrop were within each of the window bays.
It was a relatively small event in comparison to what was happening around London Design Festival but in that respect, it was great to be able to really get to know and speak with the light and design community who attended.
Which future exhibitions or events can people experience some of Luum’s original installation designs at?
London Design Festival was great to be part of this year and Euroluce 2017 is being discussed, but any exhibitions we commit to will be based on the products we have. 2017 is already looking to be a really busy year and it is certainly in the pipeline to have a new collection to launch. We’ve also talked about holding exhibitions at our studio. The space is certainly able to hold some large pieces quite easily- as proven recently with Flurry.
How vital do you see Luum’s bespoke capabilities as being?
Offering a bespoke service and customisable products is what Luum is all about. It’s not something many offer but our clients approach us because we can provide them with something that is a complete one-off. We’re usually installing in an area that is a focal point so there is a huge responsibility to deliver something spectacular every time.
Even with the product collection, there tends to be a variation from the last one we sent out – whether finish, size, or arrangement… something is usually always different, and I think this is what we enjoy most at Luum.
Luum often collaborates with with a range of artisanal craftsman as part of the production process. How important is this collaborative process?
Alongside the technicians in our own manufacturing facility, we work with European artisans, craftspeople and producers to realise our lighting, drawing on a collective spirit and address book of first class manufacturers.
With Plume, we were looking for London-based ceramists. As with all of the people and companies we collaborate with, we need to be able to have control of the product’s quality. By working with companies who are close, we can visit them, understand the process and in turn, achieve something very special.
Below: Porcelain feathers for Plume installation
Can you tell us some of Luum’s key plans and developments for 2017?
The team are focusing on launching a new collection of products, portables and installations for 2017. We’re also very aware of how we’re going to grow and develop. We’re a young and relatively small company but our portfolio is growing and client list is becoming larger and more exclusive with every enquiry we receive. We want to be the only choice when it comes to bespoke lighting installations and based on the quality of our work and what we offer, I think this is achievable.
For more information on Luum visit www.byluum.com