CEO Larry Lazin created Global Lighting in 1991 to produce custom fixtures for projects like the Harley-Davidson Café in Manhattan, the Hyatt Regency in Osaka, and the China Grill in South Beach. A+A recently interviewed him about lighting, designers and Karman, the company responsible for exquisite lines of Italian lighting design:
What do you look for in a lighting designer?
Quality, of course, is always at the top of the list but I am also continually aware of that illusive aspect called design appeal. It’s hard to describe what it is about any given fixture that will be the “turn on,” but with Karman it is the magical aspect of the company’s take on design and the varied ways their designers are supported to express it.
How many designers are currently developing lighting for Karman?
I believe there are five main designers or design teams actualizing designs, which is a small number considering the remarkable variety of new releases they put out each year.
How does their work differ, one from another?
You can certainly see a particular point of view in the fixtures each designer creates but if you line them up, you will also see a commonality that I believe expresses Karman’s playfulness and uniqueness as a company that encourages thinking outside the box.
How do they differ from American lighting designers?
I would say that their level of experimentation with design ideas and materials is a big departure from what I am seeing come out of America. There really are very few boundaries excepting whether it can actually be produced or not.
Who is your clientele, and what are they looking for?
Our lighting is esteemed by architects and designers who are looking for fixtures that convey design intelligence and uniqueness. We source our products from Europe, and we’re known for bringing innovative engineering and groundbreaking aesthetics to our clients so we tend to attract progressive thinkers.
The intent of your curatorial point of view?
As we at Global Lighting curate collections and decide which manufacturers to include within them, we are looking to provide designers, architects and specifiers with a non-stressful way to land in a place where they will see a variety of fixtures that thematically match the stylistic points of the projects they are designing. By arranging lighting by a fixture’s style notes, so to speak, I hope to make our product offerings exciting for anyone who is searching for lighting for a project.
I’m inspired by quality and creativity, especially by those designs that meld the two seamlessly. Some people would have us believe that fine design is a luxury but I believe we must change this way of thinking because we will seek out design that has a lasting essence if we do. Quality fused with creativity never ages, it just improves with time!
What kinds of materials do Karman’s designers favor? Why?
With Karman, there are many. If you look at the fixtures we have in the Stratos Collection, you will find everything from Fiberglass to ceramics and triple-layered glass to concrete. That is quite a broad range for one manufacturer and the wonderful thing about this company is they do each one equally well, and not just in terms of quality but in terms of how creatively they actualize these materials.