Rich Brilliant Willing (named after the three men behind the company: Richardson, Brill, and Williams) is a collaborative design studio and consultancy based in Manhattan. Already named one of the Top 40 emerging designers by I.D. Magazine in January 2009, the trio creates furniture, interiors, and products that focus on “reinventing materials.”
Excel Floor Lamp. Designed by Rich Brilliant Willing.
Should you be one of the “renegades of funk” that RBW designates as their clients, you would enjoy their Excel Floor Lamp. Made of wood and aluminum with a silk shade and fabric cord, the floor lamp has a peculiar likeness to Tinker Toys. Another 3rings writer compared the Stack Lamp to the famous construction set, but I am arguing that Excel has a greater resemblance. Things like this often happen in real life and in the microcosm of real life that is the design world: once you see or hear or learn something, you begin to see it everywhere. I’m sure there is a word for this in some language; if you’re exceptionally curious, check it out in Christopher Moore’s book In Other Words, which investigates words that are untranslatable (esprit de l’escalier is one of my favorites, meaning “a witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs”). So the other 3rings writer sees Tinker Toys and I see Tinker Toys (last year there was a slew of hexagonal designs).
The simple legs of the Excel Floor Lamp go through holes in the lamp’s base, and the shade is a squat cylinder—both hallmarks of the Tinker Toys set (what Hasbro terms rods and spools). In any case, the result is simple, playful, and ingenious. The lamp comes in Black, White/Gray, and Blues Gray and stands 84”h with a width of 30” and a depth of 60”. A pair of Excel Floor Lamps takes on a performative aspect, seemingly standing in for people—stick people. Having compared the Excel Floor Lamp to a construction toy and a bad drawing, I should make it clear that these similarities lend RBW’s lamp flair—a certain childhood nostalgia aestheticized into three dimensions. Now available at Matter Manhattan and The Future Perfect, Brooklyn, the Excel Floor Lamp should spark your imagination as it lights up your room. What do you see in the lamp’s simple forms?