Dezeen Magazine

Paradise City by Lindsey Adelman

Lindsey Adelman presents "precarious and vulnerable" light at Design Miami/Basel

New York industrial designer Lindsey Adelman's latest light comprises a series of glass orbs that appear to dangle precariously together on a gridded metal frame.

Adelman launched the light at this year's edition of contemporary art fair Design Miami/Basel.

Called Paradise City, it features dozens of differently designed bulbs that are attached to thin rods and joinery. Each of the glass bulbs rests gently on small surface areas across the silvery gridwork.

Paradise City by Lindsey Adelman

Adelman says that the design is intended to look as if the glass fixtures could slip off the frame and shatter, appearning "not safe at all".

"There's something very wrong about it, and very beautiful about it at the same time," Adelman told Dezeen.

"It creates just a ton of visual tension, and looks like scaffolding or a leg brace."

Paradise City by Lindsey Adelman

To create this effect, Adelman has designed an almost-hidden structure based on a series of pins that pierce the bulbs and hold them in place.

The glass orbs that form Paradise City are a variety of shapes and designs, and are intended to provide contrast. Some feature long spikes to evoke sharpness.

Paradise City by Lindsey Adelman

"It's quite precarious and vulnerable, and fragile, but at the same time strong and voluptuous and sort of radiant," Adelman said. "It's like feminist aggression or something."

"It's also for me like an urchin – it's self-protection," she continued.  "It expresses something also where you're hiding and your defences are up. Almost more than attacking."

This is not the first time the designer has used spikes in her designs. Her Burst collection also features pointy ends, paired with more sensuous bulbs.

"It's not a crowd-pleaser type of a decision to use spikes," she said, commenting that much of her client base steers clear from fixtures with thin, pointed pieces.

Paradise City by Lindsey Adelman

Some of the bulbs are softly curved, while others are detailed to draw on Art Nouveau details, including ribbed patterns and fluting.

"I wanted to play with a language," Adelman said. "It's like classically elegant, but then smash it up and kind of be a little bit more brutal or heavy-handed about it, so it becomes less precious," she said.

Adelman presented Paradise City at the 2019 edition of Design Miami/Basel, which took place in the Swiss city from 11 to 16 June.

Paradise City by Lindsey Adelman

It forms a culmination of different collections that Aldeman's studio has launched over the years and represents how her craft has evolved.

"I'm getting a handle on the whole technical aspect of it, or those challenges, so I can have it be driven more by emotion or an expression of something," she said.

Born in New York City in 1968, Lindsey Adelman established her design studio in 2006 after studying at Rhode Island School of Design.

Among her other projects are Catch lights that ooze over brass bases and weathered turquoise lights with small globes.

Photography is by Mark Cocksedge.