Found exclusively at Room & Board, these Orikata linen pendants were developed by Michael Towey, founder of The California Workshop. He is a former engineer and product designer and is inspired by the German term Gesamtkunstwerk, which translates roughly as “total work of art or total work of craft.” When Michael opened his workshop space, he set out to make everything he needed for it, from outlet covers to trash cans to lighting. Michael describes himself as “maniacally iterative” and in creating the perfect lighting for his studio, he demonstrated this trait.
At first he used just a bulb and cord, but the light was too bright; as he experimented with ways to improve light quality Michael realized it needed a diffuser. This lead to the creating a diffuser without a frame—and so on. Ever the engineer, Michael created hundreds of lamps, taking away anything superfluous to get to the simplest, most functional version of lighting itself. And what a beauty it is.
In the end, Michael landed on an origami-inspired pendant light made from linen laminated to a sturdy backing. He uses a CNC machine to precisely perforate and score the material where it’s meant to be folded. The laminated sheet is put on a big table to fold it. Finally, the top and bottom are hand-sewn to keep the folds gathered.
The result? A beautiful example of form following function. Choose from four exclusive shapes, available only at Room & Board, to design your own lighting installation.
Photos by Room & Board