Coming to America: Tom Rossau’s Lighting Hits the North American Market

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

One might wonder what motorcycles have in common with pendant lighting and conclude “very little.” But in the case of Danish designer Tom Rossau, the connection is, in a strange way, cause and effect. An avid motorcyclist, Rossau opened a biker apparel shop in the 1990s and created his own light fixtures for that space. Seven years later, he began designing and fabricating handsome, modern luminaires to sell.

Now, those wares are available in North America through Global Lighting with the US debut of 15 recent designs. Part of Global Lighting’s Ethos Collection, the Rossau lights all start with linear strips of material — be they wood veneer, paper, aluminum or polypropylene — that he fashions into organic shapes. “It’s a remarkable thing to have a three-dimensional shape develop from a flat piece of material,” he said in a statement. “I never tire of seeing the fixtures morph into what they have the potential to be.”

The resulting forms are graceful yet minimalist and range from short, bulbous shapes to elongated and twisted ones in palettes of black, gold, natural birch, oak, white, red and brown. (All of the production waste from Rossau’s workshop gets sorted and completely recycled.) And lamping is LED or fluorescent.

But they aren’t haphazard, as might be suspected. “Tom Rossau doesn’t rush his projects,” stated Global Lighting president Larry Lazin, who stumbled upon the luminaires in Stockholm. “He thinks about the twists and turns until he’s completely satisfied he’s identified the best possible design for that idea.”

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