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 says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news