Photograph by Carmen Zammit
Photograph by Carmen Zammit
In the world of architecture and interior design, lighting can make or break a space. The colour of light, as well as the light fitting itself, is a crucial part in setting the tone in interior and exterior environments. Volker Haug Studio, an international lighting design practice based in Melbourne, understand this importance. The focus of the studio is the lamp, the source of light central to each fitting, this is why many of the fittings have exposed lamps.
The practice was founded over a decade ago by German-born Melbourne-based Volker Haug and has a strong sense of refined experimentation. The pieces produced by the practice are created in Melbourne and finished by hand by Haug and his highly skilled team. Additionally, during the creative process, the diversity of culture and opinion is something Haug implements and encourages from his team to promote inclusivity, lively debate and unexpected direction. This process creates a deeper understanding of each member in the team, as well as developing understanding of materials and material combinations. Due to this deep knowledge of materials, it’s not hard to see why Volker Haug has won Small Stand of the year twice in a row now as well as Best Product in 2016 at DENFAIR.
Many of the fittings embody a curiosity to combine seemingly unrelated materials and see what happens. Haug credits this curious nature to his background living in Berlin, Germany; “I lived in Berlin during the early 1990’s just after the wall came down. I recall it being an intense and transformative time both personally and politically. A city that was traditionally segregated suddenly opened up geographically. Along with opening up its borders, the people’s thinking similarly expanded.” With this big change to the city and its landscape, many people were forced to share limited infrastructure and amenities, promoting a sense of “togetherness”; a sense of genuinely having to build a community and do things as a team. “It was a city that had literally been broken, but by operating as a community there was the possibility to re-build something new together.”
Resultant of this experience, Haug says he has a drive to “combine materials in unexpected ways in order to create something new and unrecognisable.” He elaborates adding that living in Berlin allowed him to understand how interplay with opposing forces can develop to exist harmoniously. His move to Melbourne was due to the fact he recognised something in the urban landscape similar to Berlin, a European feel that was familiar, promoted freedom and creativity. He now feels that he has an understanding of Australian culture and hopes that the inherent playfulness to the Volker Haug Studio designs engages the Australian sense of humour and the concept of not taking yourself too seriously.
Having just released both Oddments and Longton at Salone del Mobile in Milan the practice is taking a moment to take a breath. However, they are prototyping 2 – 3 new product ideas for release in 2019 and the practice is concentrating focus on consolidating their designs as well as expanding existing product families. Furthermore, they have a couple of exciting collaborations in the pipeline for next year, but aren’t giving too much away. In relation to projects, they have recently designed and produced custom versions of the Side Kick and U-Chain series for Architectural Practice Tecture, had their first Oddments go into a cafe in Sydney called Percy Plunkett and are proud to have feature lights in Chin Chin, Sydney. Volker Haug is also a very driven by place-based design, the studio is consistently collaborating with well established Architecture firms across Australia, and globally, in order to develop and provide custom lighting solutions for unique projects.