partisans heats up IDS toronto with 'gweilo' light-sculpting factory
 

partisans heats up IDS toronto with 'gweilo' light-sculpting factory

 

at the interior design show toronto (IDS) 2017, partisans didn’t just bring a collection of new luminaries to the show, it brought the whole factory. in celebration of the launch of its ‘gweilo’ lighting collection, the toronto-based studio staged the ‘partisans factory’ — an equal parts fabrication warehouse, artist studio, and lounge party. on one end of the booth, an architectural arrangement of stacked pallets played host to a series of finished ‘gweilo’ lights, complemented by an extraordinary collection of rare, mid-century modern furniture pieces. adjacent to the display, partisans set up a working factory to showcase the art of manufacturing in action. throughout the duration of the show, the team treated, heated and sculpted optical grade acrylic sheets into finished ‘gweilo’ luminaries.

 

 

partisans founders alex josephson and pooya baktash sculpt ‘gweilo’ lights at IDS
video © designboom

 

 

IDS visitors buzzed around partisans‘ booth throughout the duration of the show, watching the design team use thermoforming techniques to transform acrylic sheets into finished lights. ‘we’re bringing mass customization to the public and turning it into a live performance piece,’ partisans cofounder alex josephson said. sculpted while still in its hot plastic state, ‘gweilo’ shapes and harnesses the dynamic movement of light into sculpted radiance. when LEDs are diffused across the acrylic sheets, their luminescent output is amplified, resulting in an infinite set of silhouettes and sizes. ‘gweilo’ gives an architectural effect to the way a light source normally emits luminescence, delineating space and creating a ghostly ambiance whether used as an accent, divider, or centerpiece.

partisans IDS
an architectural arrangement of stacked pallets played host to a series of finished ‘gweilo’ lights
image © designboom

 

 

in partnership with lightform, partisans has taken its early studies of ‘gweilo’ from prototype to product. also during IDS, the design team engaged in unique on-site collaborations, hand-sculpting lights alongside architect omar gandhi, painter steve driscoll, sculptor harley valentine, and designer tommy smythe. IDS visitors were able to custom-design their own lights at ‘the factory’, see the collection in context beside design icons from porch modern, and observe the art of manufacturing in action.

 

see our preview of the collection on designboom here, and watch our video above to see partisans founders alex josephson and pooya baktash sculpting ‘gweilo’ lights at IDS.

partisans IDS
the lights are complemented by a extraordinary collection of rare, mid-century modern furniture pieces
image © designboom

partisans IDS
IDS visitors were able to purchase and custom-design their own lights on site 
image © designboom

partisans IDS
the collection of luminaries was set in context beside design icons from porch modern
image © designboom

partisans IDS
when LEDs are diffused across the acrylic sheets, their luminescent output is amplified
image © designboom

partisans IDS
each light is completely unique as a result of its hand-formed processing 
image © designboom

partisans IDS
‘gweilo’ gives an architectural effect to the way a light source normally emits luminescence
image © designboom

partisans IDS
a large heater is used to make the optical grade acrylic sheets flexible 
image © designboom

partisans IDS
the acrylic is warmed for about 10 minutes before it’s ready to be sculpted by hand 
image © designboom

partisans-factory-ids-toronto-gweilo-lighting-designboom-02
an acrylic sheet being heat treated at the ‘partisans factory’
image © designboom

partisans-factory-ids-toronto-gweilo-lighting-designboom-011
the design team sculpts ‘gweilo’ in its flexible state 
image © designboom

partisans-factory-ids-toronto-gweilo-lighting-designboom-02
fans are turned on as the sculpting takes place to facilitate the re-hardening of the plastic 
image © designboom

partisans-factory-ids-toronto-gweilo-lighting-designboom-02
partisans founders alex josephson and pooya baktash prepare plastic for sculpting
image © designboom

partisans-factory-ids-toronto-gweilo-lighting-designboom-02
partisans cofounder alex josephson wears a silver heat suit as he waits for the acrylic to heat
image © designboom

partisans-factory-ids-toronto-gweilo-lighting-designboom-02
a finished ‘gweilo’ light is presented at the front of the factory 
image © designboom

partisans-factory-ids-toronto-gweilo-lighting-designboom-02
fire proximity suits are necessary parts of the installation 
image © designboom

 

  • Where did the name arise. Any significance to the common Cantonese pronunciation?

    Paul

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