The Story Behind RBW’s Mori Pendant


What is the story behind RBW?

Our goal is to use light to positively change environments, communities and lives. The brand was founded in 2009 by three Rhode Island School of Design graduates – Theo Richardson, Charles Brill and Alexander Williams – and today includes approximately 60 team members across innovation, engineering, operations, marketing, sales and finance. It has grown quite a bit since the beginning.

The new RBW headquarters in Hudson Valley, New York looks amazing. How is it to work there?

I’m actually here today and it’s wonderful! It is a 100,000 square foot facility for our innovation and product operations and will also act as a hub for team cohesion and collaboration. We’ve just completed phase one and phase two is underway, so it’s always changing. It’s really fun to come by weekly and see it take new forms. There is a lot of excitement and forward momentum here.

We also have the RBW showroom in the Soho Design District where people can experience our lighting collection in person and gain access to exhibitions and contemporary programmes. It’s a really vibrant area of ​​New York City and you can really feel the energy when you’re there.

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RBW is a B Corp, which means you consider the social and environmental impact of the business. What initiatives have been taken to achieve this?

We achieved B Corp status in 2019, which was super exciting. As a certified B Corp, we are subject to strict standards of environmental and social responsibility – and this influences the integrity of our business, the strengthening of our team and local communities, and our ongoing sustainability initiatives. For example, some of our best-selling collections are packaged in Ecovative foam, a biodegradable material derived from the root structure of mushrooms. We are constantly improving and getting ourselves to a place where we can start monitoring our carbon footprint.

In your opinion, what characterizes an RBW product?

We believe in the power of light to create atmosphere. Good light contributes to our well-being and contributes to productivity and improvement in everyday life – it can fill a room with optimism and give us energy or help us to switch off and relax. I think what sets RBW apart is our forward-thinking, technology-driven approach to design, inventing lighting solutions that are extraordinary – unprecedented shapes or subtle upgrades to known shapes. Our DNA is all about intuitive lightness and simplicity, integrity of craft and material, and quality lighting with a playful angle.

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Can you tell me more about the Mori pendant and how it was used in the Dwell House?

I’m generally obsessed with the work of Norm Architects so it was pretty flattering to hear that they were considering the Mori pendant light. The unique design perspective of the Dwell House is the perfect environment for one of our most iconic designs to truly flourish.

Ten years ago, when the collection was designed, we set out to achieve warmth and luminosity through the use of LED technology. Those things didn’t really go hand in hand back then. It’s a simple cross-wire frame fully encased in woven polymer threads, then sprayed with a matte lacquer finish. The Mori pendant’s unique shape casts a lantern-like, moody glow into a space, and the texture of the shade creates a sense of calm that allows you to settle into the space.

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The Dwell House is an efficiently planned space and it was important to make the most of the footprint and combine visual impact with function. The Mori pendant is placed in the living area in front of the bi-fold glass wall leading to the deck. As you enter the room, you get a nice moment of impact when you see this pendant in the main area. It also acts as a functional beacon.

If you had a home, how would you use it?

I live in upstate New York and was hoping to build a Scandinavian style home on a lot – however as someone who is very design oriented I am concerned it would be really difficult to achieve this using local manufacturers and materials . I would love the ability to easily build this beautiful structure with a crane and use it as a wonderful, efficiently sized living space with high design, beautiful finishes and quality construction.

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