Interview with Mike Randall from Kurva Design

Interview by Michelle Heslop. Photography: James Jones and Mike Randall.

Your lighting designs are available at Montauk Sofa in Chicago and now at Gabriel Ross shop. Can you tell us about your recent partnership with Gabriel Ross shop?

This is a very exciting time for me. I have been working toward this for some time now and I’m so grateful to Ross for all his advice and guidance, he’s been a real mentor to me this past year. There is a SiteLines installation in the entrance to the Gabriel Ross showroom on Rock Bay. I’m hoping to add the new Straight light design this month and eventually an S-Light as well. The new Straight light will be available online at GRShop in the near future. My products are divided into small run production items (S-Light, SiteLines, 250 pendant) and more complex custom-made products such as the Bow Lamp and Kelp Light. All products can be viewed on my website.

What are the guiding principles in your approach to design?

When I set out to design a product there are several factors that drive my process. The first consideration is what the lighting has to achieve in the design brief. The functionality of a product is key but it is only part of the equation. My primary focus is on minimalism — how can I meet the functionality goals without overwhelming the visual space? I also look at the lines of a design. Do they work with the space available and do they look beautiful? I want my lighting to fit in aesthetically and enhance the space. I am also becoming more attuned to the importance of efficiencies in design. While custom pieces can really push the material limits, products for the retail market have to be designed to be efficiently produced in reasonable numbers.

Do you create custom-made lighting for clients?

Yes, absolutely. However, my focus lately has been on designing new products for the retail market. Sometimes I turn a custom lighting piece into a retail product if I feel there is potential there. My most recent custom designs include all the lighting and lit work tables for Club Kwench through my collaboration with Hansen Built. Most recently, I designed a suspended take on my Kelp Light for Janice Jefferson at Modhaus. These were fantastic projects to be involved with and I was very happy with the end result.

The photographs below show the Lit work tables at Club Kwench and the Kelp Pendant light in a Cadboro Bay home.