Auckland based architect Nat Cheshire’s obsession with precious metals has led to enigmatic lighting designs for Resident. Two lights in particular encapsulate the possibilities that exist with well combined materials and finishes.
The Oud light, designed in 2012, is a desk lamp. Its single armature follows a continuous and unbalanced line, concealing all the mechanisms of a warm LED light source. A sphere of polished marble rests on the lower leg; its diameter fitted to the palm, and a quarter turn operates the internal switch.
Handmade in New Zealand, Oud comes in two varieties - Brushed Brass with Rossa Levanto Marble, or Black with White Honey Onyx Marble
"In Oud we set out to collide the awkwardness of constructivist geometry with the material decadence of Mies at Barcelona and Tugendhat. The idea that you might wrap your fingers around a sphere of handle-polished marble - and then twist in order to flood your wrist and table with light – this seemed enormously more sensual than flicking a small plastic switch. When did design lose this vital tactility?"
In 2014 Resident then released the Foundry Floor Light, which is a graphic illustration of a rectangle traced into space. At 1.9 meters high, it’s seamless aluminum body stands vertical due to a heavy duty sandcast bronze counterweight. This highly valuable counterweight is unpolished, celebrating the oxidisation process which occurs when the molten hot metal is exposed in the foundry.
"Bronze is an almost primeval material. It defined an entire epoch. Cast into sand, it has the colour and texture of hand-shaped, fired clay. Polished, it gleams and glows like a jewel. It is the visceral opposite of inert aluminium and hygienic stainless steel. It is heavy too – enough to steady a couple of meters of fine, cantilevered armature. Bronze, in these terms, seems to us the most noble of all metals."