Ian is creative director of both award-winning lighting brand, Cameron Design House and its newer sister company Empty State. Whether it’s a large-scale sculptural chandelier or a bespoke statement pendant, every piece is designed and carefully handcrafted in their St. John’s Wood studio.
Words by Ali Howard
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO GO INTO LIGHTING DESIGN? I’ve been designing since school and after studying product design at university, I knew this was my passion. In 2014 I launched Cameron Design House, we design and manufacture statement sculptural chandeliers for projects around the world, and in summer 2021 we launched our sister brand Empty State, which specialises in configurable modular lighting.
WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN ETHOS? For both Empty State and Cameron Design House, we put quality at the forefront of our designs. Every piece is designed to the most intricate of detail ensuring the designs last for a lifetime. Empty State’s ethos is focused around configurable modular design and is inspired by design icons through the ages. Every design is available in a curated collection of states and a variety of finishes, giving you the power to design the perfect piece for your space.
WHICH MATERIALS DO YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH? We love combining a range of metals with glass. It’s so interesting to see how different materials work alongside and complement each other. We machine all of the parts from solid raw materials in-house before being assembled by hand, with each piece being made to order in our London workshop by our team of skilled craftspeople.
Ball and Hoop by Empty State
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS? We recently launched Empty State’s first table lamps and wall lights in the form of our Pill and Ball & Hoop designs. Due to the configurable nature of our designs, they are suitable for a variety of spaces and pair beautifully with the pendants in the same form.
For Cameron Design House, we recently worked with House of Walpole on a bespoke one-off residential project, which featured a curated mix of one-of-a-kind pieces from the best British luxury brands. The apartment, adjacent to His Majesty’s official London residence, was designed entirely by Oliver Burns and features a custom-made Inari light in a burnished brass finish from Cameron Design House, designed specifically to complement the space.
Torsa by Cameron Design House
ANY LIGHTING TREND PREDICTIONS? We are noticing a few trends including mirrored brass, which is reminiscent of the Art Deco era. Engagingly opulent and glamorous, its natural light-reflecting qualities deliver a classic yet contemporary look, helping to reflect light around the room. Our Torsa features suspended brass discs at opposing angles that work together to highlight this dynamic and multidimensional material.
From the flowing movement of water to the incredible silhouettes of mountain ranges, nature-inspired design will continue to be a popular trend in our homes. Sculptural lighting resembling incredibly beautiful and organic shapes from the natural world – such as our Haara Metsa, which replicates a weeping willow or the Inari which is inspired by Lake Inari in Finland – add a welcome softness and fluidity to interiors.
Haara by Cameron Design House
Homeowners are seeking unique pieces for their homes that create maximum impact. In 2023, lighting will be the focal point of any room design, with beautifully crafted, oversized and extravagant light fittings taking centre stage. From the sculptural Halti chandelier to the contemporary and modular Kuulas, large and sculptural formations are here to stay.
And from unusual shapes to innovative materials, there is an increased desire from customers looking to be more daring in their design choices. There will be a demand for unusual and eye-catching light pieces that challenge the everyday and are show-stopping art forms in themselves – such as our Helmi light, inspired by a fishing trip to Finland.