MSDS Studio illuminates Aesop store in Toronto with compact lamps
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Place & Think by MSDS Studio at Aesop Toronto

MSDS Studio illuminates Aesop store in Toronto with collection of compact lamps

MSDS Studio has taken cues from cosmetic brand Aesop's products to create a series of wooden lamps that nestle on shelves in its Toronto store.

The local design studio created the temporary installation at the brand's store on Queen Street West – a popular shopping street in the city – as part of this year's Toronto Design Offsite Festival.

Titled Place and Thing, the display comprised a series of wooden lamps designed to fill product shelves and hang in the shop window. A set also decorated a central table.

Place & Think by MSDS Studio at Aesop Toronto

MSDS Studio modelled the lighting on the appearance of Aesop's skincare, haircare and perfume products, using softly curved edges and cylindrical forms that bear a similarity to the shape of the brand's signature brown bottles.

The mix of materials – including wood sandblasted to reveal its natural grain, ark glass and stainless steel – reference the tones of the company's distinctive branding.

While resembling the cosmetics, the shapes of the lights are also based on homeware for self-care and maintenance, and tools for manufacturing Aesop products.

Place & Think by MSDS Studio at Aesop Toronto

"Place & Thing is a collection of lighting objects that explore rituals of personal care, scent manufacture, and domestic objects," said MSDS Studio. "As a collection, the objects create a domestic tableau that synthesises Aesop and MSDS Studio's shared interest in space, material and experience."

Among the designs is a light with a dark glass front that is angled against a wooden base to look like mirror. There is also a series based on cupboards for storing products, featuring boxy wooden tops and extruded volumes that form legs and handles, as well as create holes for the light.

Mixing bowls and a pestle and mortar informed the pair of lamps comprising wooden drums attached to cylinders. The window installation differs from the rest of the set, as its crumpled backdrop and glowing spherical shade are intended to reference a landscape.

Place & Think by MSDS Studio at Aesop Toronto

Aesop opened its Queen Street West store in 2015, marking the Australian brand's first location in Canada.

The company endeavours to create unique interiors for each of its shop, and asked local architecture firm Superkül to overhaul the space in Toronto. A felt-lined wall and a ceiling covered in cardboard are among its distinctive features.

MSDS Studio, which has previously designed a flower shop in the city, updated the space temporarily for the Toronto Offsite Design Festival. The citywide event took place from 15 to 21 January 2018, and also included an exhibition showcasing a year's worth of Canadian design.

Photography is by Lauren Kolyn.