In late February, Global Lighting introduced Zero lighting to the North American contract market. It’s a Swedish product line established in 1978 – one that at first used perforated sheet metal, then glass, and now woven polyester, and even fisherman’s rope. Zero designers include Benjamin Hubert, Fredrik Mattson, Front Design, Jens Fager, Mattias Ståhlbom, and Monica Förster. A+A recently interviewed Per Gill, second-generation owner of the company, via email:
Why call the product line Zero?
There is more than one reason. The founders wanted a short international name; they started from Zero, the first products (for almost 10 years) where all made in perforated metal with round holes “a lot of Zero´s”.
What is its history, and the history of the company?
Zero was founded 1978 by Roland Gill and Andris Nolendorfs. They met at a glass factory in the south east of Sweden (where most of the Swedish glass factories were situated). This glass factory was specialized in making light fixtures in glass. Here they met Zero´s first designer Börge Lindau. He had an idea of making light fixtures in perforated metal. Roland and Andris liked it so much so they decided to start up Zero and concentrate on lights in metal instead of glass. Börge Lindau was the sole designer for Zero for about eight years, and then we started to work with other Swedish designers. Now we work with any kind of material and have also work with some international designers. All designers are freelance.
Where do you find inspiration for these lighting products?
Much of the inspiration comes from our designers and our long experience in light.
What about the materials? What inspires you there?
We want to work in different materials and like when a designer presents a new idea with a new material. As we don´t manufacture all parts ourselves we are free to work in any material we want.
The intent of these designs?
They shall feel new, be decorative and have a clear function.
They’re all very diverse. Why is that? How many designers and artisans work on them?
We produce lights that we personally like but they must all be possible to use in projects. We work more closely together with about 10 designers, but we have lights designed by over 30 different designers.
How do you describe your products to someone who’s never seen them?
A combination between decorative and technical lights with a twist.
What kinds of applications are they meant for?
Project market like offices (task lighting for office desks, common areas, conference room), and universities, libraries, and commercial real estate (stairways, entrances, corridors).
For more information, go to http://www.globallighting.com/.