A former professional child actor who later became a fashion designer, and even later pursued a lasting career in product and interior design, London-based Lee Broom is a true Renaissance man. Today, he’s best known for his sculptural lighting pieces and unique furnishings, which adorn homes the world over. Following his Opticality exhibition at this year’s London Design Festival, which features numerous works from his Optical lighting collection inspired by the 1960s Op art movement, he shares the pieces, places and passions that are inspiring him right now.
What inspired your Optical collection that showed at The London Design Festival?
The collection is inspired by ‘60s Op art. It’s quite an understated, modern collection, which we originally launched in Milan earlier this year. It consists of a pendant light, a table lamp and a floor lamp. The lights feature monochrome graphics with a bold linear pattern, which changes at every angle when viewed from all sides. Optical also holds strong personal associations for me—I was inspired by the early 90s, the period in which I grew up, when I decorated my bedroom with a strong Op art aesthetic.
Image courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Which exhibition has recently made an impression on you?
I recently visited the Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology exhibit at the Met when I was in New York. I found that very inspiring from an art, product design and manufacturing point of view.
Image by Flickr user dgeezer
Which exhibition has recently made an impression on you? (con't)
I also recently visited Switch House, the new extension of the Tate Modern here in London. I find the structure and design really interesting, and the new roof terrace offers amazing panoramic views of the city.
Image courtesy of Thinkstock/Maciej Bledowski Where are you looking forward to travelling in the upcoming months?
Where are you looking forward to travelling in the upcoming months?
I’m really looking forward to going back to New York. It’s one of my favourite places; it’s so vibrant and forever changing. I love the buzz there. It’s a real melting pot of cultures and styles that never fails to inspire me.
What’s one beautifully designed space you keep returning to?
I recently visited Park Chinois restaurant in Mayfair, London. It has an incredibly opulent interior, which takes you back to another era. It also has the most ostentatious toilets I have ever seen in my life! It’s definitely worth a visit.
Portrait images by Ivan Jones and Arthur Woodcroft.