GANT Lights is our Supplier of the Week, 24 – 30 October.
Started in a kitchen, GANT Lights takes a very industrial material, exposes its properties and softens it to make it more suited to residential environments. The material we are taking about is concrete, the signature of this brand. With the Soft Industrial trend growing, this brand is already there.
We spoke with the designer behind it all, Stefan, to find out more.
How did GANT Lights start out?
GANT Lights started in my kitchen you could say. During my architecture studies I decided I would like to make my own lamps for my kitchen. Once it was decided that concrete should be the material of choice I realised that “moulding” is easier said than done. The whole project turned into quite a bit of research and work during which I frequently thought “maybe I should just go to that big Swedish store instead to buy some lights and be done with this”. However, with encouragement from my friends I somehow prevailed. When I finally arrived at a product that was worthy of hanging in my kitchen the feedback from my friends was so positive that I thought maybe other people would also like them. This is effectively how GANT Lights came to life in 2012. These days we’re based in Berlin in our own workshop and store (“the office”). Two full time employees are helping me and all three of us are very happy that there is such a positive response to the lights we make.
What differentiates your products from other concrete designs?
Concrete furniture and lighting is often just “polished grey concrete”. That’s at least what most people appear to think of when they hear “concrete design”. In an interior design context, concrete on its own is somewhat limited to very special settings where it fits seamlessly. Many interior designers and end customers therefore steer away from it. Although our core material is light grey or dark grey concrete, we merge it with gold, silver, copper, corten steel or oak for example. This aspect is what makes the products unique. The blending with those materials changes the dynamics of concrete as a material completely. It opens up a multitude of settings in which the product can be utilised by interior designers. For end customers, the aesthetic contrast of the materials makes it easier for them to go for product based on concrete. It also provides for a real talking point which people seem to very much enjoy.
How does your background in architecture affect your designs?
I would think my background results in designs that feature strong lines, angular surfaces and contrasting materials.
How are your products made?
This is what makes concrete as a material so beautiful; the making of the raw product is as simple as you would imagine. Mix water and concrete, pour it into a mould and wait. Take it out. Finished. However, the key is in getting the mixture and the moulding right. That’s the not so simple part and it took us a long time to get it right and even longer to get it consistently right. The resulting raw concrete shape is then merged with the aforementioned materials (gold, copper, etc.). The whole production is done exclusively in Germany by hand.
Why concrete? What do you love most about the material?
It takes any shape you would like it to take. You could say it’s a material that really wants to work with you. Most other materials work a little bit against you in a sense. Depending on the material, you may need to cut it, sand it, glue it, hammer it and so on. Concrete, by contrast, comes out of a mould and, if you get it right, it looks great and that’s it.
What projects have your designs been used in recently?
One of our latest projects was actually to redesign our own office in Berlin. Take a little look into our space here:
Our second most recent project was where GANT Lights was used as an integral part of the interior design during a refurb of a flat in Berlin:
What’s next on the horizon for GANT Lights?
Concrete as a material is becoming increasingly popular and it will certainly continue to form the core of our designs. We’ll certainly broaden our current series further. Only a few weeks back we expanded our [B] series by launching our [B7] ceiling light for example. However, we are also frequently asked to take our existing geometric shapes and use those with other materials than concrete. This is how our [K1] light made from porcelain came into existence, which is based on our [T2] design. Watch this space, there may be further materials we want to experiment with in the near future.
What object have you recently taken inspiration from?
I take inspiration mainly from my environment rather than other designs. I like the simple things such as riding my bike through Berlin and looking at different corners of buildings for example. The geometric shapes of those “little” things here and there provide inspiration for my lights.
To open a trade account with GANT Lights and start ordering from them directly, click through to their catalogue below, and then ‘request a connection’: