Axelle Vertommen
Matière Grise
31,5/51,5/103 x 12,5 x 12,5 cm
folding steel, welding and powder coating

Brion is a series of lamps, created from angles, consisting of a metal inner and outer skin.

Corners form the basis of a room, but are often neglected. This was the starting point for Brion, a lamp that can be installed in a corner. The lamp consists of two pleated sheet steel structures that fit together. The combination of inner and outer skin hides the LED light source, creating indirect light. The range has been expanded with wall and standing lamps in three heights that can be installed both horizontally and vertically. The lamp is available in 38 colours, for both the inner and outer skin.

The jury on Brion:

Brion is a playful and elegant lamp that totally suits the spirit of the times. The lamp reassesses corner space, presenting a different kind of solution. The nod to period styles is present, although the lamp retains a contemporary character. 
Brion © Kaatje Verschoren

What does this award mean to you?

Every year, the Henry van de Velde Awards honour inventive designers and it is a great honour to be included in the awards. As a designer, I always try to approach objects from a different angle. This recognition confirms that good design does not have to be complex and that simplicity can also bring innovation. With each new design, I try to look for that. There are countless utility objects on the market. Every new product must have a reason to exist. The design is easily constructed with only one material, is easy to disassemble and has a unique appearance. The award motivates me to develop this vision even further, as a designer.

How did the idea for this project come about?

Design is a process that is allowed to be slow, a process in which a design is allowed to mature to its purest form. I made the first sketches for the Brion lamps during a train journey, inspired by a jewel from Studio Collect, which in turn was inspired by Carlo Scarpa’s Brion cemetery. On the site, Scarpa built pavilions with a special corner detailing. The stepped forms inspired me to highlight the architecture of a room and start from the corner. The shape also appeared to be easy to translate into wall and standing lamps. Thanks to Matière Grise, the production company that was immediately convinced of the design, we have succeeded in producing and selling the three models as a series of three sizes. The model in production barely differs from the initial prototype.

What makes your project so special?

The simplicity of the design, both in material and appearance, makes Brion special. Two folded metal skins form the basis, but thanks to the Matière Grise process, consumers can put together the lamp of their own choosing. The lamp is available in 38 colours, for both the inner and outer skin, creating unique objects. To prevent overproduction and to be able to meet customer demand, the lamps are manufactured to order in the workshop in Lyons. I got to know Matière Grise at the MAD Brussels Designers Towards Business event. We clicked right away. I totally agreed with their colour policy and they were immediately convinced by the design that completely aligned with their production workshop.