Freedom of Expression
Chance encounters are often how new ideas or new relationships start. Creative thinking is most compelling when it involves fresh eyes, original perspective and a deep gratitude for the creative process. A chance meeting in Milan is how Michael Murray, director of Australian based lighting company Rakumba, met Joel and Kate Booy of Studio Truly Truly in 2017. Studio Truly Truly is a Netherlands based, Australian founded design studio. The company focuses on creating products that sit between the commercial industry and well considered art. Furthermore, the studio’s work encompasses many disciplines of differing material qualities; objects, furniture, lighting, textiles and spaces.
“Michael saw one of our vases, which is cast in resin and has different textures inside. He was enamoured.” says Joel Booy. This is not surprising considering Rakumba started as a pottery company in 1968, transitioning to technically complex decorative lighting gradually over many years. The business is a collective group of committed thinkers, designers, makers, artisans and engineers. All devoted to the creation of decorative lighting with the underlying philosophy of making beauty. “Contemporary elegance is our aesthetic”, Michael states, Rakumba is “… a strongly design-led business focusing on decorative lighting in Australia and Internationally.”
After the initial meeting in Milan, the conversation continues between Rakumba and Studio Truly Truly. The conversation quickly evolved into a great collaboration based on a brief from Rakumba for a pared-back graphic lighting system.“Michael wanted something decorative and functional”, says Joel, “…and to us, type is both of those things. Kate and I studied graphic design in Australia before we moved to the Netherlands and both taught Typography at The Queensland College of Art before we left, so the aspiration of something both decorative and functional sat perfectly with the idea of font. It’s super functional, but you have to be really fine with how you make the decoration fit.” The Typography System and CILON range came to fruition in 8 short months. In the design world, this is “intensely quick”, says Joel. Both Michael and Joel put this down to background and experience on both sides.
The Typography system and CILON range is the first of the graphic lighting systems to be designed in collaboration with Studio Truly Truly. The collection features seven different light fittings, all sharing the same language. “There is a commonality between all of them in shapes and sizes, proportions and dimensions which makes them work together.” says Joel. Included in the seven, there are wall lights, pendants and spotlights available in predesigned combinations or able to be mixed and matched. This flexibility offers endless combinations and provides opportunity to tailor the lighting to the project. Each fitting is LED and available in two finishes; black or golden.
Noting the “first” in the title of the Typography System and CILON range hints that there may be further collaboration for Rakumba and Studio Truly Truly. Michael has confirmed there will be some “additions to the Typography range, for release in Europe and Australia next year.” Before then, both Rakumba and Studio Truly Truly are keeping very busy with new collaborations and projects for release later this year and early next year. It is fair to say that chance encounters lead to original creativity and unique opportunity to collaborate on projects. Both Rakumba and Studio Truly Truly are proud to work together on producing truly original products for the Australian and International lighting market. There is more to come, so watch this space.
Rakumba & Studio Truly Truly are winners of the Best International Product Award at DENFAIR Melbourne 2018.