Creating Art with Lighting Solutions
Brand van Egmond is a Dutch lighting design brand and an international trendsetter in exclusive handcrafted decorative lighting.
“Throughout the years, I’ve learned the skill for rich, layered storytelling, creating a new vocabulary with materials and forms, trying to capture the emotion and personality of my clients, as well as the unique aspects of a space, into my designs”
Brand van Egmond was founded in 1989 with the sole intention to create art without restraints. Its creator, William Brand an architect by professional qualification from the Utrecht School of Arts and a lover of art forms, works on the confluence of contemporary and classical elements creating designs that are almost sculptural. His art installations can be seen in W Doha and around the world, creating retail experiences, decorating personal spaces in minimalistic villas and drama in ancient castles.
Scale explores the world of lighting and art through Brand van Egmond.
SCALE: How was Brand van Egmond conceptualised? Tell us a little about your history?
WILLIAM: Already as a young boy, I felt an urge to create. Later, with a large portfolio full of sketches, sculptures, design prototypes, black and white photographs, and other material experiments, I applied for the architecture and product design training at the Utrecht School of Arts.
Although my training was mostly focussed on architecture and furniture design, I also explored the disciplines of free arts like painting, graphic design, photography, and sculpting. This has brought me a lot of knowledge, and of course, has an influence on all my creations and vision towards spaces.
Besides lighting sculptures, I’ve designed chairs, tables, interiors for residences and public spaces in the past three decades and I still receive architectural requests from time to time. I have my own atelier and a team of craftsmen where I can basically support any requests our clients have.
SCALE: How would you describe your style as? Has the brand ideals or style changed with changing times?
WILLIAM: My work tends to be characterful, sensual and surprising.
Personally, I think my designs have a dual soul. Although they are evidently contemporary, they have often distinctive classical elements. I like blowing new life into old forms. Since 1989, I crafted more than 30 lighting collections of which the first designs are still seen being created to this day.
Besides, I have frequently been commissioned for unique lighting installations. This results in us lighting up both ancient castles as well as minimalistic villas.
We are not easily labelled, which is something I very much enjoy.
SCALE: Who is the creator of ideas within Brand van Egmond? Do you custom design for certain clients?
WILLIAM: The creation of personal and unique designs is often based on the wishes of my clients and the requirements of a space. Through the unique people that reach out to us, I receive a lot of inspiration. They ask me to translate their wishes into handcrafted reality.
Throughout the years, I’ve learned the skill for rich, layered storytelling, creating a new vocabulary with materials and forms, trying to capture the emotion and personality of my clients, as well as the unique aspects of a space, into my designs. I on occasion like to work with universal symbols, for example, a candle or a rose, that can transcend borders between countries and cultures.
SCALE: Tell us about your expansion plans? Do you believe in having stand-alone stores or do you collaborate with showrooms to showcase your products?
WILLIAM: After opening dedicated showrooms in Europe and Asia, we recently opened our first showroom in the USA (San Francisco) and see the benefit in offering the professional advice that comes along with this, allowing as well for closer collaborations with the design community.
In total, we are active in over 90 countries by now and partner with the leading dealers and architects in a country. They, in their turn, tend to work with the people who appreciate a more artistic approach towards lighting.
SCALE: How has being an architect helped you while designing this product? Which are the architects that inspire your work?
WILLIAM: Above all, I want to stay completely autonomous in order to create without any restraints. I believe that one should be driven by the heart, by your talent, and by your instinct. As soon as I start looking at the people at my left or at my right, I will lose that clarity of thought.
Of course, there are many global talented and well-known architects and designers who we enjoy working with and learning from as well. Especially, when there is a cross-over with our clients, by comparing notes on styles and markets. We are asked with some of them to be part of their retail identity (Chopard, LV); this demands attention and flawless execution.
However, I have to admit; I tend to be just as inspired by the clients we work for and the stories they share with me!
SCALE: Tell us stories of collaboration with other brands that have been successful.
WILLIAM: Several brands enjoy our approach towards lighting, and at times even make them part of their identity. They allow us to add that bit of emotion to space.
We for example create the lighting for every boutique of Chopard in the world, creator of fine jewellery. Also, Louis Vuitton uses our lighting, and in Doha we have lit up all the suites of the W Hotel, a venue some of your readers will know well.