Soap stone explorations
Object Design, TLS, East Africa studio, Nairobi – Kenya.
The Brief – We were asked by one of our clients to develop a range of outdoor lights for the private garden we where working on at the time.
The Design – Driven by our design ethos to explore and use local materials we started experimenting with blocks of soapstone.
Soapstone is a fascinating material, normally used for intricate carvings. It is found in very few places throughout the world and has been used as a carving material for thousands of years.Found in Western Kenya in Kisii district, it is exclusive to Kenya amongst the East African countries and therefore an unique material to use.
We were interested in using the stone in more of a raw format than traditionally carved. Making simple cuts to expose the smooth, clean/ pink interior, and in doing so framing the exterior richness of the stone which is never normally seen once proceed.
The forms where so beautiful in their raw form that in the end the best solution was to simply reflect light off the cut sides, creating subtle lighting bollards within the garden. The bonus is they second as seats or sculptural features in the garden during the day.