Anony is in the happiness game. Founded by industrial designers Christian Lo and David Ryan, the up-and-coming studio specializes in intricate lighting systems whose engineering ingenuity belies their whimsical appearance—think Calder-esque mobiles and a suspended network of dimmable discs that evoke tightrope walkers. When tasked to design lighting for Milky’s, a coffee shop in their native Toronto, the duo leaned on circadian lighting that mimics natural illumination in response to the city’s super long and super short day cycles knowing light has a big impact on mood. Pairing that technical expertise with a custom edition of their Highwire Pendant—finished in a warm handmade oak that plays off the cafe’s color palette—seems to effortlessly elevate the space’s atmosphere and visual intrigue.
The studio is also challenging industry norms by tackling today’s urgent issues of wastefulness and disposability. Lo and Ryan tailored their studio’s ethos on longevity and sustainability at every stage: “We thought about the life cycle,” says Lo, describing how Anony’s fixtures can be taken apart easily so the pieces can be reused or recycled. “With lighting, especially in the decorative market, if a part fails it can’t be replaced because the materials are fused together.” That means if one part no longer works, the whole module—sometimes the entire fixture—needs to be replaced.
Their anti-waste mindset and playful design ethos informed Highwire, a dimmable modular LED lighting system with four temperatures that range from moody orange to daylight white. Lo named Highwire after the art of tightrope walking, in which “the walker tries to balance on the wire by finding the center point.” So too does Highwire, which is created by tension between two anchoring points and a pendant weighted in the center. While the balancing act requires central equilibrium, the fixture itself doesn’t need to be centered. Rather, it has the flexibility to move around. “We prefer unequal numbers,” says Lo, explaining the asymmetrical offering of one, three, or five luminaires. The unruly draping of Highwire’s cables traces shapes within space, creating a new way for lighting to interact with its surroundings. And what’s not to love about that?