Born in Stuttgart and now based in Heidelberg, Bao-Nghi Droste has worked with Werner Aisslinger in Berlin and Hannes Wettstein in Zurich. He set up his own design studio in 2007 where he works on a variety of products, as well as lighting, furniture, interior design projects and display elements.
Hot Spot looks almost like a child's spinning top taking a break or a torch in repose. Your use of LED strips and rubber coating add to the playful air about this lamp, yet there is also satisfying no-nonsense effect. How do you see Hot Spot?
For me Hot Spot is more like a playful tool that acts as an assistant or an aid in someone's living environment. Due to its handle the comparison with a torch is in fact a matching one.
The lamp can be moved quickly from one point to another and then positioned in two different ways, upright or horizontal. That's probably Hot Spot's key feature: It has no fixed or predetermined position either in itself or in the surrounding architecture.
Pagoda has a form that can lead to various interpretations; in addition to its resemblance to a temple roof, the shape of a falling parachute is evoked. Gravity and the skyscape are present in both. What is the story you want to tell with Pagoda?
The name Pagoda derives from the moment I regarded the lamp in its finished state for the first time and immediately associated it with those characteristic roofs existing in Asia. But regarding the process of working I have never thought of temple roofs at all. I wanted to create a dynamic object that has to resist the forces of gravity and thereby is getting deformed. The light mass as the object's content is pulled to earth by gravity while the outer construction with its shade and ropes suspended from one point prevent the light from falling down. That's actually the reason for the edges to be pulled up.
Another one of your designs that incorporates lighting is Adenike, an upholstered table that can act as a bed or bench that you created a couple of years ago. Have you further developed this design? What has happened since then?
Adenike was exhibited a couple of times and attracted quite a lot attention. It's really a very comfortable and useful object and can be regarded as a meeting point or high conference table in an office environment, for example, where people can get together quickly and discuss their latest work. This turned out to be the main use of Adenike during past exhibitions. But in fact, Adenike still is a one-off piece and kind of an experiment concerning the function. So this object is still in development in terms of serial production and, furthermore, I'm looking for a producer.
What are some of your upcoming projects?
Besides some interior projects I'm currently working on a new side chair based on a simple but efficient construction principle.