Skip to main content

Project Focus: Tonal Palette On Park, Lighting by Rosie Li

Rosie Li, Photo by Pippa Drummond
Rosie Li, Photo by Pippa Drummond

Rosie Li, a Chinese-American designer, focuses her craft on lighting and objects. In many cases, she is inspired by nature and geometry to design fixtures that are both compelling and precise. With engineer Philip Watkins, the duo and their 8 team members produced a custom brass ceiling fixture in the entryway of our Tonal Palette on Park project.

We were thrilled to speak with Rosie about her inspiration, process, and work on this custom fixture:


How did you come into the lighting design industry?

I got my start by licensing my first lamp design to Roll & Hill, a Brooklyn based lighting manufacturer. Then I joined their team as a junior designer! Working there gave me an inside look at how to develop lighting products for manufacturing.


What is your favorite aspect of designing lighting?

We experience light with such nuance. I love thinking about light as a material and will not only focus on the source but also look at how it reflects off the fixture and how it reflects light back into the space. The instant transformation from turning on a light gets me every time!

Tonal Palette on Park Entryway, Photo by Pembrooke & Ives
Tonal Palette on Park Entryway, Photo by Pembrooke & Ives

Where do you find inspiration for your collections?

I’m a nature lover (I get that from my mama!) and draw a lot of inspiration from organic shapes and textures. I’m always thinking about ways to combine metal, glass and light into fixtures that evoke natural growth and spark curiosity.


What is the most rewarding part of your process?

It’s rewarding to see our finished product come to life and (hopefully) surpass expectations. My passion is developing new designs and I live for the moments of discovery along way.


What was the goal and inspiration for designing the fixture for this project?

We were asked to develop a 20’ curving ceiling fixture for a transitional hallway space. The initial inspiration was a string of bubbles, soft and elegant.


What were some challenges you faced with designing this fixture?

This particular fixture had a few technical challenges! The drop height could not exceed 8 inches, due to the lowered hallway ceiling. The curving shape (installed in three pieces) had to wind its way around pre-existing ceiling spot lights. Precision was key so we took laser measurements on-site to ensure accuracy. It was installed with a full-scale paper template.


Do you have future plans with this new design?

We’re expanding on the curving concept this year! I’m excited to build on top the work we’ve done for this project.


Explore more of the Tonal Palette on Park project.

Related Articles