The Brooklyn lighting designer’s experimental style ranges from delicate palm frond-inspired sconces to chandeliers that resemble molecules.

When fledgling lighting designer Rosie Li presented her senior thesis project at RISD in 2011, she received the ultimate stamp of approval: an endorsement from Lindsey Adelman. 

The celebrated New York designer, visiting RISD as a guest critic, was so taken with one of Li’s lamp prototypes that she texted a photo of it to Jason Miller, the founder of lighting company Roll & Hill. Li got a licensing deal and, eventually, a job there before she founded her own studio with engineer and fellow Roll & Hill colleague Philip Watkins in 2015.

Rosie Li in her Brooklyn, New York, studio posing alongside her Bubbly Floor Lamp.

Rosie Li in her Brooklyn, New York, studio posing alongside her Bubbly Floor Lamp.

Photo: Pippa Drummond

Her experimental yet glamorous approach to light—from delicate palm frond–inspired sconces to chandeliers that resemble molecules—has earned her work spots in projects by many big-name designers. Li’s most recent collection is a new take on her Bubbly series—a set of luminaires that look like iridescent soap bubbles. She achieves the finish through a technique called physical vapor deposition. 

The Bubbly collection is inspired by <span style="font-family: Theinhardt, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI", Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, "Helvetica Neue", sans-serif;">soap bubbles, botryoidal hematite, and other </span><span style="font-family: Theinhardt, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI", Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, "Helvetica Neue", sans-serif;">forces of attraction or cluster patterns found in nature</span><span style="font-family: Theinhardt, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI", Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, "Helvetica Neue", sans-serif;">.</span>‘></a></noindex></noindex><figcaption>
<p>The Bubbly collection is inspired by soap bubbles, botryoidal hematite, and other forces of attraction or cluster patterns found in nature.</p>
<p>Photo: <noindex><noindex><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.dwell.com/@pippadrummond" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" profileid="6349001117860429824">Pippa Drummond</a></noindex></noindex></p>
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<p>“I tend to express myself in really technical ways,” she reflects. “I feel like science is an applied art.”</p>
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<figure><noindex><noindex><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.dwell.com/article/dwell-24-rosie-li-bubbly-floor-lamp-pebble-lamp-lighting-designer-brooklyn-new-york-3a8b569c/6708030319515287552" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" ><img loading="lazy" src="https://images.dwell.com/photos-6063391372700811264/6708030319515287552-medium/lis-other-collections-explore-the-nlessspan-stylefont-family-theinhardt-apple-system-blinkmacsystemfont-andquotsegoe-uiandquot-roboto-oxygen-sans-ubuntu-cantarell-andquothelvetica-neueandquot-sans-serifgreateratural-architecture-and-structural-folds-of-th.jpg" height="600" width="400" alt="Liatural architecture and structural folds of the fan palm, as well as laurel wreaths and other shapes.“>

Li’s other collections explore the natural architecture and structural folds of the fan palm, as well as laurel wreaths and other shapes.

Photo: Pippa Drummond

See the full story on Dwell.com: The Dwell 24: Rosie Li
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