Lindsey Adelman Is Getting Even More Experimental

After teasing her new studio-in-a-studio LaLAB during Milan Design Week, the sculptural lighting pioneer transforms her New York atelier into a desert oasis with even more creative concepts.

Adelman. Photography by Matteo Imbriani

The idea came to Lindsey Adelman during a weeklong silent meditation retreat last fall. To complement her practice, the New York design sphere’s reigning queen of sculptural lighting would launch LaLAB, a studio-within-a-studio focused on making experimental works unfettered by agenda. “LaLAB is a refuge for discovery and surprise, one where I bring the concept of illumination to an unexplored plane. There’s power in a change of perspective,” she says, and shedding the hardness of what’s fixed to let the soft parts show.

Milan Design Week attendees experienced that power firsthand at “Soft Opening,” where Adelman debuted three new series of illuminated works that forged a celestial vibe inside experimental hotbed Alcova’s setup in a dilapidated former abattoir. Principles of equilibrium informed the hanging Mobiles, adorned with precious minerals infused with metaphysical properties, while the exacting angular frames of her Cages struck a visual vibration. “I love the tension between the luxuriousness of each element and the playful treatment and arrangement,” she says, “handling serious objects in a non-serious way.”

The sequel, “Under the Influence,” makes a compelling case for this non-serious approach. Taking over her NoHo atelier during NYCxDesign is a hanging forest of Mobiles, grandly scaled galactic Cages, and earthy Rock Lights accompanied by dozens of earthly gray ceramics and meditative gouache paintings that delicately reveal her hand on paper. Each is set against an immersive 13-minute film that serves as a portal to the vast, mysterious landscapes of the desert—and brings its brilliant hues of light into focus. “As someone who tends to be airy, dreaming, and in the clouds,” Adelman says, “I’m constantly looking for ways to ground in the earth, in reality.” Affording yourself the space to think freely may be the ticket.

Photography by David Mitchell
Photography by David Mitchell
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