Zürich, Switzerland

Elegant, industrial, and hand-crafted, Akaru revives the sculptural mastery of 1960s Swiss lighting design.

Established by Niels Bogaerts and Kelvin Leung in Zürich in 2017, Akaru produces hand-made lighting pieces in different sizes. Their atelier, located since its inception in the city’s suburb of Dübendorf, has a strong focus on hand-crafted techniques of the twentieth century, and their work, which is hand-made in Switzerland, seeks to revive the manufacturing approach and aesthetic of 1960s Swiss glass design.

The resultant lamps feature thoughtful combinations of constituent parts, which emphasize and celebrate the expressive possibilities of hand-blown glass. Akaru’s Wolkje series of lamps is produced in tribute to the wonderful and largely forgotten traditions of Swiss handicraft. Originally manufactured by FällanderGlas in the 1960s, these pendant and ceiling pieces are composed of hand-blown, mouth-blown, and etched glass; drawing attention to the unique artistry of their manufacture as much as to the aesthetic potential of the material. The lamps feature beautiful transparent encasings and sandblasted interiors, which are paired with metal tubing and bracket systems of chrome or rose gold. Produced and distributed worldwide in a limited edition of 250 pieces, they are smooth, sculptural pieces, which skilfully fuse artisanal methods with an elegant industrial appearance.

A young company, Akaru seeks, via their mastery of 1960s design, to cast fresh light on the lost narratives and artistry of traditional Swiss manufacturing methods. The studio participated in the Maison Shanghai international furniture expo in 2017, and it looks to the future with a keen concentration on the sustained production of intelligent interior objects.