Lisa McDennon sits down to give us a closer look into the design process in creating her lighting collection for Hinkley.
Raymond Paul Schneider: When did you first start to develop this new collection?
Lisa McDennon: Initial concepts and ideas started to coalesce in 2018, and the process is always very organic, so the initial sketches and inspiration took some time to develop into the tangible pieces.
Raymond: What was the overall time-line from conception to achieving the final design?
Lisa: We usually release new designs every six months, and I am generally designing 18-24 months in advance of production release. Some designs go from concept to market faster than others, driven mostly by the complexity of the design and engineering. The newest collection was released in January at Lightovation in Dallas.
Raymond: What was your initial inspiration, and where did the ideas come from?
Lisa: My inspiration for the Lisa McDennon Collection for Hinkley was derived from a concept that embodied a modern organic essence, one that not only incorporated natural materials and shapes but maintained an underlying architectural, artistic, edgy feel.
Raymond: Did you have a specific audience or theme that you had in mind?
Lisa: In creating the collection, I felt that I could fill a gap in the market and reach a new audience for Hinkley lighting. Often in design, when I am looking for something and can’t find it in the marketplace, I draw it up and make it. So, in creating the collection for Hinkley lighting, it seemed to come naturally to me, as I already had so much experience in my interior design career working with artisans and fabricators making custom furniture, lighting, hardware rugs, and the like.
Raymond: Please describe your overall creative and design process.
Lisa: Designs often develop from a moment of inspiration – I could be inspired by an interesting architectural element or simply from a tree’s bark texture. I take photos wherever I am & use these to refer to when designing. My design process begins with my sketchbook, where I start to draw and develop shapes and designs derived from a variety of inspirations and resources. These initial concepts then convert to digital images, then into cad and 3D modeling. Prototypes are then created for approved designs, and I work closely with the design team at Hinkley to fine-tune all design details until we are happy with the final design.
Raymond: Please describe the methods, tools, and materials that you used to develop and prototype this design?
Lisa: What makes the designs in this collection unique is that they are a blend of hard-edged industrial elements and softer organic forms, but all have a common thread running throughout. Each fixture’s strength is its unique sculptural form paired with a mixture of finishes and materials that are on-trend in design, yet pushing the boundaries in lighting. I have merged blackened steel, gold leaf, ceramics, leather, fabric cables, crystal, LED edge-lit acrylic, and even hair-on-hide into my designs.
Raymond: Describe your overall brand DNA and Ethos.
Lisa: My personal design ethos is rooted in creating experiential spaces for my clients that reflect both the architectural style of their space while seamlessly infusing their unique style, developed through our design process, and echoed through their interiors. My designs are modern, natural, timeless, and always incorporate an unexpected twist.
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