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Chrissa Amuah designs bespoke light fixture for Mortlach as part of the Mortlach By Design programme

Promotion: single malt scotch whisky brand Mortlach has invited a number of designers to create a series of products that celebrate the brand's craft and engineering heritage, including London-based designer, Chrissa Amuah.

The Mortlach By Design programme sees Mortlach partner with well-known designers and emerging talents to develop furniture, glassware and lighting designs that enhance the whisky tasting experience and aim to highlight the brand's commitment to innovation.

As part of Mortlach By Design, five designers, including Chrissa Amuah have created bespoke products that highlight the brand's distinct approach to whisky-making. The designs are being unveiled gradually at various events throughout 2022 and further designs will be commissioned and unveiled in 2023.

Chrissa Amuah besides a blue light
Chrissa Amuah has designed a colour-changing light

The latest piece to launch is a colour-changing light by Amuah, which was informed by the unique distillation process and designed to spotlight the ingredients that give the whisky its flavour.

"When I visited the distillery it was clear that the production of this drink is rooted in craft and perfected by science," Amuah told Dezeen. "There are so many layers to the distillation process which made me think it wouldn't be right to just create a traditional, static light fixture."

Chrissa Amuah researching at her desk
Chrissa Amuah was inspired by the distillation process

The light fixture is called 2.81 after the distillation process developed by Dr Alexander Cowie in 1897, which uses six stills of varying shapes and sizes to create a whisky with a distinct flavour profile.

The fixture's shape represents the charts or "flavour maps" often used to communicate the flavour profiles of whiskies, in this case the robust and rich character of the Mortlach 20 Year Old.

A whisky-coloured bar cart made from panels of glass
Marcelis' bar cart is named Shift

Computer-programmed LED light sources transition from cool white through shades of blue that highlight layered barley etchings. The colours eventually take on an amber hue evoking the oak ageing process that gives the whisky its colour.

Earlier in the year at the NYCxDesign event in New York, Mortlach By Design presented a chair created by American designer Joe Doucet, along with a bar cart created by Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis.

winged chair with silver back
Doucet's Tropos is a winged-back style chair

Doucet's Tropos chair is also influenced by Mortlach's distillation process. The wingback-style chair features a reflective metal backrest that envelops the sitter and creates an infinite mirror effect.

"My aim was to design an immersive space where one could fully engage in the complexity and depth of Mortlach whisky as they sat," Doucet explained.

The whisky cart with a bottle of whisky placed within it
Shift bar cart is made from glass panels that replicate the colour of the whisky

Marcelis' Shift bar cart is made from glass panels that replicate the colour of the whisky. Two volumes nested one inside the other echo the design of the Mortlach bottle, creating a dynamic visual effect of shifting hues and intensities.

"Similar to how Mortlach reveals its layered flavours upon tasting, the bar cart reveals its dynamic layers when explored and used to serve," said Marcelis. "The mobility and versatility of Shift is a reflection of the journey one takes while sipping Mortlach."

A photograph of a decanter and whisky bottle besides it
A decanter was developed by Italian designer Luca Nichetto

The first piece to launch as part of the Mortlach By Design programme was a decanter called Sei developed by Italian designer Luca Nichetto.

Sei, which means 'six' in Italian, is made from Murano glass and was exhibited as part of an exhibition called Vessels held at the Sized gallery in Los Angeles.

A photograph of whisky being poured from a decanter
Sei means 'six' in Italian

The decanter is influenced by Mortlach's six whisky stills and how liquid moves through these structures during the distillation process.

"The six stills evoked a hexagon, the perfect geometric shape, which became the base of my decanter," Nichetto pointed out. "From there, the shape grows into an organic form, mysterious and natural, much like the Mortlach liquid itself."

Further products will be unveiled later in the year, including glassware by Italian designer Felicia Ferrone and a piece whose creator is yet to be revealed.

Mortlach was founded in the 19th century and its distillery is based in Speyside, Scotland. Its approach to distillation, known as "The Way" features six stills, and according to Mortlach, is unique to its brand and has remained unchanged since 1896.

"The precise 2.81 distillation process is a closely guarded secret, handed down through generations of Mortlach distillers, and responsible for the whisky’s unmatched flavour," said Mortlach Senior Brand Manager at Diageo, Peter Sundry.

To view more about the programme, visit Mortlach's website.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for Mortlach as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.