Must-See Lighting Week 2012, Day 2: The Elegant Simplicity of MacMaster Design’s Plywood Lighting


I recently profiled an internationally known U.S. architect who believes London—not Scandinavia, Italy, or Spain—has the most vibrant design today. Who knows if that’s true or not, but MacMaster Design certainly makes the case for the Brits. Run by designers Alex MacMaster and Limahl Asmall, the firm specializes in contemporary furniture and lighting, especially pieces made from laminated hardwood plywood. The pair designs the stuff in-house, Asmall told me, and make them in their production workshop. Pieces range from $230 and up.

Made from either oak, maple, walnut, or cherry veneers, the Cocoon is an open structure pendant consisting of eight thin laminated leaves.

The Iris draws inspiration from the leaves of the flower, but it could easily be mistaken for an alien in a Sci-Fi movie or a thing from a horror flick about botany experiments gone awry. Leaves of the light curve at three sets of angles and distanced, the firm says, and from a perfectly proportioned pendant.

The Bloom pendant is an ingenious piece of design. Made from 100 percent FSC-certified birch plywood, the piece uses no fasteners and no laminations. The flat sheets simply fit into two columns, creating the curvaceous form. Natural, scarlet, purple, and blue are available.