American Design Hot List 2018
In Common With
New York, incommonwith.com
Like many New York studios, RISD grads Nicholas Ozemba and Felicia Hung have a special focus on lighting. But rather than design yet another statement chandelier for the luxury market, In Common With has placed its work squarely in the realm of accessible, opening up the idea of custom lighting to a wider audience than ever before. We have a particular fondness for the duo’s hand-pinched clay shades, which are made in collaboration with ceramicists from Ohio to Brooklyn.
What is American Design to you and what excites you about it?
American design to us is ever-evolving and not bound by traditional standards. It doesn’t have a defined aesthetic quality, but rather a distinct attitude, energy, and heart. It is autonomous, and ambitious.
There is an aim for simplification that is changing human habits, constantly shifting and evolving our lifestyle. This has trickled into how a lot of designers and companies interact with people. We’re excited to see what happens next.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
We launched our first lighting collection this past May during New York’s design week and have been busy developing new products since! We’re planning to launch these new forms throughout the coming year including new colorways in some of our popular ceramic pieces. We are also experimenting with making shades in some softer materials like linen, corduroy, and paper, in addition to a collection of tabletop objects.
We’re equally excited to share the evolution of our brand. We’ve been working on a new website and graphics which will make our customer experience a bit more user friendly. All of our collections are designed around a family of components which allow for a variety arrangements and configurations. Up until this point we have been launching each fixture in a single configuration but our new site will better activate the system, and allow everyone to explore a broader range of design possibilities. Beyond the virtual, we are working on the concept of an experiential space, which we hope to introduce later this year.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
We’re both very hands-on thinkers and learn a lot from working with tangible materials. Each material tells you how it wants to be used, which sparks new ideas and better informs how we use them. We’re constantly experimenting in the studio, but are also fortunate to work alongside a handful of highly skilled artisans and industrial manufacturers from around the world who bring a unique element to everything we create.
The way we design and manufacture gives us the opportunity to travel and experience different places and cultures. Whether it’s meeting with designers for collaborations or visiting each of our manufacturers to learn how our products are made, each place brings a unique element and perspective. The architecture, the food, the people and how they interact with the world all influence the way we design. This past year Nick was able to spend some time in Mexico, Japan, and along the California Coast, while Felicia spent time in Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, and Hong Kong.