The first project to come from the new studio is Apollo, a modular system of light shades designed to be arranged in layered combination.
The four different forms available are de- signed to nest in a multitude of configurations on a standard screw cup lamp holder.
The shades are spin-formed in 1mm aluminum, and each shape comes as either solid or perforated versions. When the shades are stacked in combination, the perforations - made by a 5-axis laser cutter enable the light from the bulb to be gradually filtered. This allows for further customisation of the overall aesthetic and manipulation of the emitted light. Along with the perforations, openings in the top section of each shade are laser cut to al- low finger access for easy fitting to the lamp holder.
The use of 5-axis laser cutting allowed for greater intricacy in the design of the perforations. There is also an intriguing contrast between this contemporary digital manufacturing technique and the traditional craft of hand spinning, both utilised in Apollo's production.
The finished shades are anodised in a potentially unlimited range of colours. As well as offering protection to the aluminum surface, the anodised finish also brings benefits in its optical properties. As the light passes through the shade layers, the reflections from and between the differing coloured surfaces blend to create elegant tonal variations.
Inspiration for the form and modularity of Apollo was drawn from studies into utilitarian industrial lighting and spacecraft. Adaptability and a focus on standardised fittings are important themes throughout Bell and Grasby's work. They aim to design systems that allow adaptation and customisation right through to the end user, whilst simultaneously seeking to simplify production through innovation in universal manufacturing methods.
International is an industrial design studio based in London, UK. Set up in 2011 by co- designers Marc Bell and Robin Grasby. After graduating together with Ba(Hons) in Three Dimensional Design from Northumbria University, UK, they went on to collaborate on their first joint project in 2010. The project Maintenance - a modular cleaning system - was ex- hibited in London in July 2010, going on to receive a Wallpaper* Design Award in January 2011. Based on the success of this project, Bell and Grasby set up studio together under the name International.