Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

 

With over 25 years of experience in the world of design, Nicci Green established Articolo Architectural Lighting in 2012. Being no stranger to the world of design, lifestyle and interiors, Nicci designed product for many international brands including Armani Casa, Donna Karan, Nicole Fahri and Country Road. She has also undertaken commission design work and styling projects both here and internationally for which she has received awards and acclaim.

Nicci is committed to Australian-made, handcrafted timeless architectural lighting design. She works closely with a diverse team of artisans who have honed their skills over many years in glass blowing, ceramics, metalwork, woodworkers and copper smiths. The team is committed to ensuring quality detailed aspirational lighting designs that can be found in five star luxury hotels, retail stores, upscale residential projects and chic bars and restaurants. We just know you are going to fall in love with these beautiful lights like we have – hard and fast. Enjoy!

 

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Ball’ pendant.

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Ball’ wall sconce.

 

+ Hello Nicci, welcome to Yellowtrace and thank you for taking the time to e-chat with us. Could you please tell us a little bit about your background, and how did Articolo come about?

Articolo Architectural Lighting was launched at the Maison&Objet trade show in Paris in 2010. Our first design to launch was the Lumi Table Lamp with the range now having grown to include over 12 new collections under the Articolo brand. I have designed each light within the Articolo collection and approach each design with a desire to create unique lighting that both excites and stimulates the imagination.

With all of our lighting 100% handmade in Australia, the handcrafted Articolo range offers lighting in a range of finishes including glass, steel, wood, ceramic, marble, brass, woven waxed strings and electroplated metal. We also offer a bespoke lighting design service and work on a range of commissions and collaborations with leading architects, interior designers, property developers, stylists and private clients from around the world.

 

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

Potrait of Nicci Green.

 

Articolo Lighting can be seen in five-star luxury hotels, retail stores, high end residential projects, bars and restaurants worldwide and is stocked in some of Australia’s finest furniture stores such as Poliform and Hub Furniture.

Whether it is designing lighting, homewares, furniture smalls… any product, I admit that I am hard-wired to design the perfect piece. Just as I was in the beginning when I designed my own props for styling shoots for Vogue Entertaining and Travel magazine. I guess you could say my motto is ‘If it doesn’t exist, create it’!

 

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Stacki’ pendant, smoke.

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Moni’ floor lamp, black.

 

+ How do you characterise your design sensibility and your aesthetic? Is there something that’s fundamental to Articolo and it’s philosophy?

I take inspiration from everything around me. Fashion, art, nature… to name a few. I am inspired to design lighting that is timeless and doesn’t date and remains relevant in spite of trends. Not faddy or tricky, just simplicity of form. Masculine lines coupled with fluid glass forms that bring artisanal femininity while casting movement through the subtle striations found in organic mouth-blown glass forms.

I want my designs to be relevant in 20 years time. Where each light brings soul to the space. For me lighting is cocooning and makes a house a home.

 

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Lumi’ floor lamp.

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Lumi’ table lamp.

 

+ How do you go about establishing a concept and an overall direction for your lighting collections? Do you have a certain process that you always follow?

I am driven by the detail of complex engineering and am not a fan of cutting corners but rather problem solving and creating the perfect light. For me the balance of function, form and overall design aesthetic are all equally important. Every component is designed with a view to never compromise on any element of the light. This is time consuming and expensive, but of course the beauty is in the detail.

Designing product and coming up with new ideas is easy. I feel challenged by reigning myself in and not developing everything I think of. I believe good design does not jar within a space and that true sophistication is in the simplicity of the design. I like to challenge the materials I work with while keeping the design relevant and elevated.

+ How important is the ability to balance the design and business in today’s market? How much time do you spend on each side of your practice?

I am responsible for the product design, marketing, sales and building the brand equity. It’s easy to get carried away and focus only on the sexy aspects of the business that revolve around only designing beautiful product. I try and make 3 appointments with architects and interior designers a week as clearly without sales there can be no product – and no business. It’s exciting and motivating when I meet with architects and interior designers who love the lighting and want to specify it for projects. Its’ like a drug to me – deeply addictive.

 

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Lumi’ table lamp, gold.

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Lumi’ table lamp, paniolo.

 

+ What are some of your methods to staying motivated, focused and expressive?

I get a particular buzz each morning when opening inquiry emails sent overnight from around the globe. Last night, I received one from a large hotel group in NYC. That’s always a great way to start the day.

I love working with talented architects and interior designers – and really get a buzz out of having my lighting included in their projects … big or small. Up next is a plan to launch Articolo in the UK in 2016. From the feedback I have received there is definitely a market for Articolo there. My driver is to grow Articolo into becoming a truly global brand and this keeps me focused and motivated while I begin the foundations of building the brand here in Australia initially.

+ Who or what are some of your influences? What other designers, artists, creatives or entrepreneurs do you admire?

Tadao Ando, Christian Liagre, India Mahdavi, Vincent Van Duysen, Tom Dixon .. There are too many to mention across industry but these are a few I revere.

 

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Ici’ pendant, multi.

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Indi’ wall sconce, pole.

 

+ What advice would you give to other designers and business owners who want to follow your path?

It is challenging starting your own business from scratch. Having to spread yourself across all aspects of a small business that don’t necessarily come naturally is hard. Belief in yourself and the ability to pick yourself up and dust yourself off after a hard day, or a fall, is crucial. Draw strength from the fact that you do grow personally and professionally throughout the entire process and remember there is no greater high than when you get a fantastic order or when you are acknowledged for your work. This outweighs the hard graft. You MUST have a ‘never give up’ attitude and be fluid to adjust as your business or your market sector shifts.

 

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Indi’ pendant, olive.

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Indi’ table lamp, black.

 

Let’s get real:

+ What’s the best mistake you have ever made?

Our Lumi table lamp was born from being silly and irreverent while standing on our sister company Bribe International glassware company trade fair stand at Maison&Objet in Paris post global financial crisis. Sales had slowed, the American department store buyers hadn’t’ travelled to Paris that year for the M&O fair. UK retailing sales (our then biggest market) were declining and impacted severely by the GFC, which in turn impacted our business substantially. There was a lull in foot traffic this particular day and while waiting for the next group to come through I turned a vase upside down and hung it on my hand and said to my business partner… ‘lets get into lighting’. Literally, a light bulb moment so to speak. We came back to Australia, designed our first light, the Lumi table lamp and Articolo was born.

+ Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Do something you love and you will be successful.

 

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Staff’ wall sconce, stripe.

Interview / Nicci Green of Articolo | Yellowtrace

‘Staff’ wall sconce, brass.

 

+ What’s one thing other people may not know about you?

I am quite spiritual.

+ It’s not very cool but I really like…

Dance like no one is watching… isn’t that how the saying goes ? This certainly applies to me. I am a heavy metal tragic and dance like I am about to slip over a banana peel. I provide a good laugh to those around me, but in truth I think I’m excellent… well, at least I’m good fun!

 


[Images courtesy of the Articolo].

 

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11 Responses

  1. salpickering

    Stunning collection by Nicci Green. Seeing something completely different to what is out there at the moment with lighting is so refreshing!!!

    Reply
  2. Owen

    might i suggest that mark is commenting on a broad trend i see in the design world of products and space taking on more decorative and retro detailing, and in certain ways, looking ‘undesigned’. i would also pick up a faux african tribal theme from the twine wrapped elements of the products

    Also it’d be nicer if people weren’t so quick to defend against being called etsy, that kind of assumes you look down your nose at semi professional and home made objects.

    I think the ici pendants and and the lumi in gold are standouts of the range.

    Reply
    • Dana Tomić Hughes
      Dana Tomić Hughes

      Thank you for your comment Owen. Agree with your observation about Etsy as something that should definitely not be seen as a platform that creates objects of lesser value (I’ve personally bought and supported many makers on Etsy and feel proud to say so). I do think that this all comes down to the implied sentiment and the negativity behind certain comments. Whilst we are all entitled to our opinions, and there’s nothing wrong with being critical, it’s not cool to offend with throwaway lines. There’s is a real person behind every product, every initiative, and every project – let us always remember that.

      Thanks again for adding to the discussion.
      Cheers, Dana

      Reply
  3. angela cwayna

    But where do you purchase these? It’s frustrating as a designer to have to do detective work in order to find fixtures.

    Reply
    • Dana Tomić Hughes
      Dana Tomić Hughes

      Angela, these lights can be purchased directly from Articolo. All you need to do is get in touch with Nicci via the links provided in the article. Simple.

      Reply

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