Helen Gifford

Helen Gifford is the owner of custom lighting brand, HelenBilt, based in Sag Harbor, New York. Helen believes that the purpose of art and design is to enliven, enrich, entertain. She loves to see the “big picture” in her work, and see how her lighting designs fit into the real world. 

Bringing together factory function and the outré geometry of nature, Helen creates lighting installations in a style she describes as “industrial beach” and works to “harmonize aesthetic with lifestyle,” making fixtures both beautiful and functional. Her company is best known for its Urchin Collection. The pieces used in the Urchin series are comprised of repurposed incandescent flame tipped bulbs surrounding a recycled steel armature that cascade at varying heights.

Helen is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design in NYC, graduating in 2000 and launching her business soon after. In addition to lighting, Helen also offers a collection of hand-painted wallpapers. The wallpaper is made from metallic mylar, which is known for its luminous sheen.

Founded in 2012, Apparatus is a New York based design studio that explores the relationship of lighting, furniture and objects in immersive environments, threading the historical and the cultural through a modern lens.

Creative director Gabriel Hendifar approaches the studio’s work as narrative, drawing on the vocabulary of desire and emotional response. Inspired by the modernist principle of a total work of art, the studio is an ever-evolving articulation of considered spaces and the things that live within them.

Sensual materials like marble, suede, horsehair, lacquer and porcelain are combined with patinated brass to create the studio’s distinctive catalogue.  embracing a tradition of studio craftsmanship, each sculptural piece is hand-finished and assembled in an historic new york space that encompasses gallery, development and production.

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