The duo did not foresee their artisanal designs illuminating luxury hotels and apartments; they were merely “experimenting” for their own residence. They became Apparatus Studio.
Gabriel believes that lamps and lanterns can be more than just practical objects; they can be artistic and tactile ones as well, often with “a soul and a story of their own.”
“I have a fashion background and it’s how I relate to material. You aren’t interacting with materials on a fixture, but I still want it to be pleasing to the touch. I want to create architectural objects, really. When I worked in fashion, we were always deconstructing vintage design. We’d look to the old masters; take apart vintage Dior Couture to understand how it’s made and how objects can also be functional in a beautiful and pleasing way. Couture is so inspiring to me—Givenchy couture especially in terms of its texture. I love that otherworldliness.”
Apparatus sources luxurious materials for their illuminants, from python and calfskin for the bases to porcelain finishes for white matte bulbs, which obscure the harsh fluorescence of the naked light.
They are also introducing a wallpaper and linen line in collaboration with Zak+Fox called Strata Study. The black-and-white tree trunk pattern of the paper is boldly intricate, like a Dürer woodcut, though this project was an experiment as well. Originally a mural in their apartment, the blueprint became popular after being included in one of their ads. “It’s kind of [a] stone, wood, marble combination. People kept asking about it, and we kept saying it was ‘in development.’ In January we will come out with custom colors and tote bags.”
Several of their products were born organically from a “need to fill a void,” and Apparatus still plans on exploring new ground. They just moved into the bottom floor of a brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and are in the process of adorning their new home.
Given their start, it’s unsurprising that Hendifar is optimistic about the transition. “We create things we want to live with. A new collection comes out of moving our home life or our studio life.”