In honor of Castleton, Vt.-based Hubbardton Forge’s 40th anniversary, the company will be showcasing its three “Designer Edition” portable lamps at the ALA Conference to celebrate the firm’s four decades of design. The new lamps are available for shipment in September.
Each designer – David Kitts, David Martin, and Zach Pyle – was tasked to create a unique lamp that exemplifies their individual sense of design while still staying within the Hubbardton Forge aesthetic. These new table lamps will all sport the domestic manufacturer’s new Maker’s Mark, which is the first time the signature has been used.
“The idea for this series came about when we were talking about how to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary from a product standpoint,” explains David Kitts, Design Director. “Normally our design process is collaborative, but we thought this might be a good opportunity to personalize the process and have each designer come up with a design that would showcase his personality more and [remove] the filter that we usually have on. We wanted this series to stand out and be more like a limited edition. The only criteria was that the design had to be manufacturable.”
When it came to devising his table lamp, Kitts drew upon his mechanical background (he holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s in Industrial & Product Design from Cornell University and Pratt Institute respectively). “I’ve always liked seeing how things work, like with gears and gadgets. I like [my designs to have] functionality and an industrial feel to them,” he explains. “The [parameters of the Designer Edition] allowed me to pursue a larger glass than we used in the Erlenmeyer series. All of the little things that I might previously shied away from due to cost – like toggle switches or a cloth cord – I was able to do here.”
Senior Product Designer David Martin, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Syracuse University and is a member of the Brandon (VT) Artists Guild, loves to make art with found objects in his free time. For his Designer Edition lamp, he opted for a sculptural, organic shape. “I was looking to create something that resembled a tree trunk with a shade on it,” he notes. “I like to have texture that almost looks like woodgrain or a random stone pattern. My preference is for simple designs.”
A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts with a BFA in Metalcrafts and Jewelry, designer Zach Pyle relied on his metalworking background when crafting his lamp. “I started with a composition of forms using smaller pieces [than usual]. I was thinking of a specific forming technique when I made these parts and was thrilled that I got to make the prototype myself,” he says. “I typically start at the socket and work my way down. The composition of this lamp is of an organic nature, but has a hard-joined look with mathematical interest.”
The three Designer Edition lamps are available to all of Hubbardton Forge’s retail customers in early September.