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Two pre-production lighting designs that ruminate on the sheet metal bending process

While its name derives from a certain bow tie-shaped pasta noodle, the inspiration behind Julian Gregory’s Farfalline lighting series comes from the pinched and folded cap of a San Pellegrino bottle. “The physical properties of everyday objects have long informed my design process,” says the Cincinnati-born industrial designer, whose DesignTO Festival debut in 2022 featured a sculpture inspired by the metal fins of an old air conditioner. That same year, Gregory began drafting the designs that would become his inaugural lighting prototypes, driven by elements of novelty and familiarity.

Peter Vinther - Farfalline Lighting Series

Photography by Peter Vinther.

Representative of the aluminum he would eventually scale up to, Gregory tested Farfalline’s structural concept with a single sheet of paper—forming two symmetrical cones that would characterize the lights’ shades. To achieve the origami-like gesture with aluminum, he used a rotating mold that mirrored the folding process with the sheet metal. “I’m fascinated by the level of structure that the geometry is able to provide a single sheet of aluminum,” shares Gregory. “I consider the metal bending process to be very poetic in this way.” The result is a sleek, ornamental, silhouette that projects a soft light outward.

Designer Julian Gregory

Designer Julian Gregory in his Toronto home office/workshop.

Farfalline Lamp Design

The single sheet of aluminum is painted white on the inside to enhance light reflection. Photography by Lianne Snow.

Toronto Interior Design

Farfalline Lighting prototype is pre production.

Measuring roughly 16.5 inches tall and 8 inches wide, the table lamp is designed for curated vignettes, bar tops and side tables, whereas the pendant has been designed to scale up or down in size. “I imagine that with one mold, the pendant can be made much larger for use in different types of settings,” says Gregory. In both forms, this stylish lighting series conjures a beautiful balance of refinement and edge.

As the Farfalline lamps await their journey from prototype to production, they invite both casual appreciation and nuanced exploration, reflecting Gregory’s commitment to creating objects that resonate on multiple levels.

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