About the Studio
David D’Imperio established his industrial design studio in 1990, and it has become known primarily for creating sculptural lighting. The studio’s body of work includes more than 70 lighting designs, ranging from lamps and chandeliers to LED linear suspension fixtures, which have been installed in architectural projects throughout the world.
D’Imperio’s pieces impart a sculptural dimension to the architectural spaces they occupy. The designs lie in a place where the organic world meets the mechanical, where geometry and mathematical order meet the abstract and randomness. D’Imperio’s lighting transcends mere illumination, as each piece is a work of art.
The designs reflect D’Imperio’s lifelong fascination with the natural world, especially tropical fish and succulent plants. The connection can easily be seen in pieces like the Hydra, named after the nearly microscopic aquatic creatures that have radial symmetry and otherworldly forms, and the Diadema, which takes its inspiration from a genus of sea urchins.
In this latter piece, the theme of interwoven spikes is repeated, allowing the seemingly arbitrary pattern to appear orderly. Similarly, in the Rorshok series, the chaotic folds over itself and becomes symmetrical, inviting interpretation without psychoanalysis.
Not all D’Imperio pieces solely mirror the organic natural world. Geometry and mathematical relations find expression in pieces like the Abacus and Beeline. At first glance, their designs appear simple and repetitive. Closer inspection reveals that each seemingly identical element is acid-etched with organic lines reminiscent of the traces left by wood-boring insects beneath tree bark.
The Helikon, Ozone and Crystalmeth are complex evocations of natural geometric forms, circles and crystalline planes that are at once haphazard and perfectly composed. Just like nature itself.
The studio’s work fuses new technology with traditional handcraft and design methods. D’Imperio approaches the initial design phase at a drafting table where his work is a study in imagination and precision. To test the functionality and aesthetic, each piece is first made into a 3-D maquette. The finished drawings are then digitized to ensure an accurate fit for each component.
The handcraft methods used to design and build each piece lie in stark contrast to its modern materials, which may include ultra-light metals and color-balanced LED technology that provides a flood of light. For example, a six-foot linear light can illuminate a space with an output of more than 3,900 lumens.
David D’Imperio was born in Pennsylvania in 1960 and has always been fascinated by the natural world, especially the aquatic realm. He spent teenage summers at the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute on Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys. After graduating college with a degree in graphic design, he moved to Florida and worked as an art director for an advertising agency.
In 1986, he was awarded a U.S. invention patent for the first-ever integrated aquarium, which he produced commercially. To enhance its design, D’Imperio started experimenting with low-voltage lighting, which led him to establish an industrial design studio in 1990. He continues to offer those services today.
New York Post
Palm Beach Post
House and Garden
Handful of Salt