From an elegantly poised desk lamp to a shape-shifting array of LEDs, Juniper’s lighting creations are made with a mission in mind: to completely transform a space by blending in, standing out, or creating ambience. The Brooklyn-based studio started in 2011 after its founder, Shant Madjarian, left a career in finance to apply the skills he learned there to an endeavor he cared about. Today, it’s a fully integrated design and manufacturing studio that makes blue-chip fixtures for homes, hotels, and workspaces around the world. Surface spoke to Madjarian about the importance of innovation, the value of honesty, and upcoming projects that allow Juniper’s philosophy to shine.
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Tell us about Juniper’s history.
When people ask me how Juniper came to be, I say naïveté and recklessness were important ingredients. But it was a love of design and the desire to innovate that compelled me to launch this business. That youthful pursuit of my passion and the willingness to chase the forever-moving target of a perfect product remain at the core of our company. Now, Juniper is no longer just me, but a diverse family of hardworking, passionate people who share common values and different perspectives.
What’s the driving force behind your work?
Each of our products is thoughtfully designed and meticulously engineered. Our design philosophy is based on reduction, user experience, and technological advancement. It’s not enough to create a sleek and functional product—it’s important to test boundaries and pave the way for new solutions. We use quality raw materials and assemble our designs in-house. We believe that honesty in design can be found in the details, so we obsess over them (sometimes irrationally) as we seek to solve problems. In the end, we fall in love with our products.
What does good design mean to you? It means reducing products to their truest and simplest form, and innovating not for the sake of innovating, but to solve problems in a way that can improve our lives while reducing demands on our environment. It also means using natural materials that reflect the origin and intent of our products.
What projects do you currently have in the works? We are implementing our Metropolis LED lighting system as the exclusive overhead lighting for the Bank of America trading floor. The space, set to be completed in August, is being designed by WeWork. We’re also working on our first outdoor lighting system, called Rail, that will debut in October. In early 2019, we will launch a magnetic track lighting system that will deliver high-performance lighting through a very low-profile, modular structure.