Christopher Boots is a Melbourne-based designer who is driven by his love of nature and light. After visiting the studio of the renowned lighting designer Geoffrey Mance in 2005, Christopher went on to work with Mance gaining an invaluable understanding of combining different materials and crafting the unexpected. After Mance passed way in 2007, Christopher was one of the designers who continued to carry on the legacy of his company.

Featured Project // Christopher’s extraordinary lighting range created since 2010 under his own design practice. This range celebrates the designer’s long-held ideas and an innate desire to bring beauty into the world.

Why Christopher Rocks // Apart from Christopher’s sharp eye for beauty, all of his products are hand-made in Melbourne using a broad variety of techniques from a team of artisans, such as glass-blowers, coppersmiths, ceramicists, sculptors, and bronze casters. His studio carefully composes these artisans “as an orchestra for perfect harmony”.

Below is a little Q&A with Christopher.

 

Christopher Boots.

Simple Z pendant by Christopher Boots. Photo by John Tsiavis.

 

+ What is the main driver / source of inspiration behind your work – i.e do you work to a specific brief, a particular concept, your favourite piece of art etc?

Most of my work is the culmination of years of research into nature, chemistry, cultural ergomonics, geopolitics and product design engineering. I’ve got stacks of sketch books over a decade and finding the right time and place to express these concepts is a birthing process in its own right. The diamond ring was 7 years from concept to completion, for example.

Commissions can be a source of great pleasure or pain depending on the client; a great challenge to stretch out and place yourself in someone else’s shoes. I’m also inspired by creatives such as Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Alexander McQueen, Olafur Eliasson, Tom Ford, James Turrell, Philip Treacy, Bjork, to name a few.

Simple I pendant by Christopher Boots. Photo by John Tsiavis.

 

+ What do you love the most about your work?

Making things that I like and suit my personal aesthetic – don’t we all? The fact that it inspires people, makes them feel all warm and lovely. I guess it ticks certain boxes and creates a certain ambience and promotes these nice feelings, which I feel is the main task of lighting. It’s about making place and setting tone to create human spaces for love and drama to unfold.

+ Did you learn anything during the design and production, and would you have done anything differently with any of the pieces?

Design and production is a constant evolution, there are always improvements and updates to every little detail. An example would be the borosilicate glass used in the BCAA light, the manufacturer changed the design of the glass neck without telling us. We had originally designed it to fit perfectly into our brass tubes, and low and behold one day the glass just didn’t fit by under 1mm- our design was very fine and didn’t anticipate any changes. They had to remake new moulds, and with that was a wait of months…. would I do anything differently? Well no, you can’t always keep track of changes from the hundreds of suppliers that we deal with. Quite often you just have to run with it and see where these tangents can take a design, thus turning the design process it into some kind of organic feedback loop.

BCAA pendant by Christopher Boots. Photo by John Tsiavis.

 

+ Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

This may be interpreted as very foolish, but I’ve never really listened to anyone’s advice. Being of Greek background, I guess I prefer to trust my own instincts and learn first hand what is real and relevant to myself. I came to a point where I was sick of reading about other people’s experiences and just wanted to create my own, and validate my own experience instead of anyone else’s.

+ Any other interesting/ funny/ quirky facts about yourself you could share with us?

I guess that all of me is quirky in one way or another! I used to consider wanting to be a scientist and thought one day that genetics was my calling – to make cats with big ears and make them talk. I also considered being an arborist, martial artist, stunt man, explorer, and one dream was to live inside a bio-dome (it was the early 90′s and I was very inspired). I guess I’d be happy living in a cave on a mountain top and retire growing olives and making wine.

 

PHASMIDA pendant by Christopher Boots. Photo by John Tsiavis.

 

+ If you were not an industrial/ lighting designer, what would you be?

I considered being an arborqist, I love trees. I started studying shiatsu. I’ll take up some kind of healing/body work in later life.

+ Nothing inspires me like…

Great art, passionate people, fresh air and a sunny day. Oh and travelling, that’s my vice. I love to travel and get lost in countries where I don’t know the language and the streets. Awesome every time.

Top – PROMETHEUS // Middle - PROMETHEUS III mounted on wall // Bottom – Diamond Ring.
All by Christopher Boots. Photo by John Tsiavis.

+ I am really good at…

Gardening and cooking comfort food.

+ Most people don’t know that I…

Want to go to Saskatchewan and get married in a cornfield. My partner thinks its nuts because there’s absolutely nothing there but corn. Amazing, I say.

Photos of Christopher’s sketch diary (above) and his studio space where the magic happens.

 


[Images courtesy of Christopher Boots.]

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