Text: Alec Coiro
All Images Courtesy of Resident
We spoke to New Zealander Scott Bridgens about the Nolita showroom created for design brand Resident, which he co-founded. The stunning to look at, amazingly conceived circus lights caught our eye immediately and drew us in for a closer look at the collection. What we found was design created with a modern yet soulful approach. The showroom itself, which comes with the title “Traveling Without Bags,” is conceived of as an “experiential retail destination”; thus it is holistic in scope and rich with detail.
After talking to Bridges, it turns out the lights we so enamored with, are inspired by women’s jewelry, which absolutely makes sense. He gets into further details about the collection, and also speaks more broadly about the freedom of coming from a country without design forebears. Read on for the interview and if you can make it to Nolita, the show is still up until May 31
How do you think the distressed look of the showroom compliments your work?
The floor to ceiling brickwork in the back half of the gallery acts as the perfect contrast against our products which are so slimlined and refined.
The high ceilings are also a big asset, making for a spectacular stage for our Pendant Lights.
I love the rounded edges in the collection and the way those contours are complimented by your wonderfully inventive hanging lights. What was the inspiration behind the conjoined ring lights in particular?
The Circus Lights are a reference to woman’s jewellery – they were inspired by the interlinking symmetry of a chain. The repetition of a circle within the context of a gravity affected chain is quite mesmerising to look at.
We then add a very high quality LED lightsource around these curves which gives the product depth and soul.
What makes the New Zealand design aesthetic the New Zealand design aesthetic? NZ is such a young country, so I am sure that the NZ design aesthetic is still in the process of defining itself.
At this moment our aesthetic is very clean and pure. I am sure this is due to the environment that we live. In New Zealand we are quite isolated, which very much helps to filter out the visual noise. There is something about the sense of being right out here on the edge which speaks to who we are both as people and designers. Since we are such a young country we have no real design forefathers to follow. This is tremendously freeing. It leads to bold exploration and genuinely original ideas, which are then reflected through our products.
Our whole intention with this installation was to make it feel permanent. Our 3000sq ft space has been broken into six rooms, which have been divided subtly with floor to ceiling curtains and beautiful hand woven rugs which frame each vignette.