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PARTISANS FACTORY unveils new architectural lighting at IDS17


January 20, 2017
by Canadian Architect

Gweilo light. Photo courtesy of PARTISANS.

Gweilo light. Photo courtesy of PARTISANS.

To celebrate the launch of their first product, Gweilo, a custom line of architectural lighting that harnesses and manipulates the dynamic movement of light, PARTISANS isn’t just bringing the lights to IDS17; they’re bringing the whole factory.

“The PARTISANS FACTORY is equal parts fabrication warehouse, artist studio, and lounge party,” says PARTISANS cofounder, Alex Josephson. “The FACTORY will feature the art of manufacturing in action. We’re bringing mass customization to the public and turning it into a live performance piece.”

Gweilo light. Photo courtesy of PARTISANS.

Gweilo light. Photo courtesy of PARTISANS.

Each Gweilo light is hand-sculpted using thermoforming, a technique that allows optical grade acrylic sheets to be individually shaped while they are still in their hot plastic state. “We will be thermoforming on site throughout IDS17,” Josephson says. “Visitors will be able to order their tailor-made Gweilos on the spot, kick back in our sitting room by our friends from Porch Modern, and watch as we form the lights in front of their eyes.”

On opening night, PARTISANS was joined by Dr. Irwin Adam of Future Food Studio for a BevLab edible art installation. The design team hand-sculpted their lights all weekend alongside special guests—architect Omar Gandhi, painter Steve Driscoll, sculptor Harley Valentine, and designer Tommy Smythe—in a gantry built by Sixpenny. Members of the public were also able to participate in the custom forming of their own lights.

Members of the public will have a chance to win a Gweilo light by following @partisansarchitecture and @LightForm_Canada on Instagram and tagging their Gweilo pics #PARTISANSFACTORY during IDS17. A winner will be announced January 27. Proceeds from the lights formed with guest artists will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Winners of the 2015 LAMP Award and the 2016 AZ Award for Best Lighting Installation, Gweilo lights are produced in Ontario; their design and fabrication is overseen directly by PARTISANS. They will be sold and distributed in Canada and internationally by LightForm.