Conran: Q&A with ‘Designer of the Year’ Sam Wilkinson

We’ve caught up with Sam Wilkinson, designer of the Plumen Light bulb which has just won ‘Designs of the Year’  – known as ‘the oscars of the design world’ to those in the trade – at the Design Museum.

Sam is an old Conran friend having worked here on a couple of projects over the last year and we are delighted his and product company Hulger’s design has won. Here’s Sam on the right pictured here with Michael-George Hemus of Hulger.

What gave you the idea for the Plumen light bulb?

The idea of doing a ‘designer’ lightbulb originally came from Hulger in 2007, who then approached me to design it. Most low energy bulbs have such a cold form as if designed by an engineer. We aimed to put a little ‘joy’ back into the form.

The shapes were inspired by patterns made by a rhythmic gymnasts ribbon and filaments of early incandescent bulbs.

How does it feel to win ‘Designs of the Year’?

It is very exciting. It was a bit of a surprise to even win our category as we were up against some amazing products including the Ipad and Dyson fan.

What other pieces from ‘Designs of the Year’ did you like or admire?

I really like Thomas Heatherwick’s UK pavilion and the Branca Chair by Industrial facility

What’s your favourite piece of design?

Always a very difficult question, as its always changing. I love the Bouroullecs ‘Slow’ chair for Vitra. It’s beautiful, lightweight and very technical due to its special knitted sling fabric.

What are you working on at the moment (if you can say!)?

Working on quite a few pieces, including a chair, candelabra, parasol, credenza and some new lights. Also a new production version of the Vessel light for DecodeLondon will launch soon.

What would be your dream project?

To work on a project with Vitra would be amazing or to work some large scale project like a hotel, where I can design the environment as well as the furniture!

Find out more about Sam and his work at


1 Comment

Filed under Conran and London, Designs of the Year 2011

One response to “Conran: Q&A with ‘Designer of the Year’ Sam Wilkinson

  1. Pingback: Conran & Company’s: Hot and Not from Designs of the Year (mostly Hot!) | What's going on at CONRAN?: The CONRAN blog

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