written by:
photos by:
May 15, 2016
The sleek lighting designs of Sabine Marcelis are capturing the attention of fashion houses and architecture firms alike.
A lighting piece from Sabine Marcelis’s VOIE light series #1

A lighting piece from Sabine Marcelis’s VOIE light series #1, made from neon and cast polyester resin.

Photo by 
1 / 6
A lighting piece from Sabine Marcelis’s VOIE light series #1

A vertical piece from Sabine Marcelis’s VOIE light series #1. 

Photo by 
2 / 6
A lighting piece from Sabine Marcelis’s VOIE light series #1

A smaller lighting piece from Sabine Marcelis’s VOIE light series #1. 

Photo by 
3 / 6
Project Rotterdam exhibition

Multiple lighting pieces for an exhibtion at Project Rotterdam. 

Photo by 
4 / 6
A piece from the Project Rotterdam exhibition

Featured in the Project Rotterdam exhibition, Marcelis designed a new piece for her Dawn collection. The collection continues from the VOIE Light Series #1 by utilizing neon tubes and cast resin, but in this interation the forms are more sculptural. 

Photo by 
5 / 6
Collaboration with Brit van Nerven

Lighting piece in collaboration with Brit van Nerven. 

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
Brit van Nerven
6 / 6
A lighting piece from Sabine Marcelis’s VOIE light series #1

A lighting piece from Sabine Marcelis’s VOIE light series #1, made from neon and cast polyester resin.

SABINE MARCELIS
Current location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Practicing since: 2012
Age: 30

Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis grew up in New Zealand and started her design career a bit late, after trying her hand at competitive snowboarding. She eventually made it to the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven, where her graduation project was a glass table that morphed from translucent to opaque with the flip of a switch. Marcelis has quickly risen to the top of the competitive Dutch design world, collaborating with everyone from elite fashion houses like Céline to Rem Koolhaas's architecture firm OMA. She moved to Rotterdam in 2010 to intern at Studio Roosegaarde, and fell hard for the port city, which has become a laboratory for cutting-edge architecture and design. “I like how it’s rough and sexy,” she says. “It’s not like other Dutch cities with the canals and cute little houses.”

Marcelis is interested in industrial production and innovative materials; she is not an organic designer. She prefers pure geometries, which she says emphasize the material properties of the sleek substances she uses—and the special effects she gives to them. She has partnered with glassmakers to find new ways of layering color onto mirrored surfaces, and much of her recent work involves manipulating polyester resin into luxurious design objects. These include high-end light fixtures (made by embedding neon tubes into multicolored resin blocks) and giant display cubes for her fashion clients (which appear almost to glow at the edges). “I love resin because of how you can endlessly manipulate it,” she says. “You can make it matte, play with the opacity, or make it super polished to create reflections.”

Marcelis just unveiled three new collections with the Danish design gallery Etage Projects and recently collaborated with OMA on two projects: the Knoll pavilion at this year’s Milan Furniture Fair and, in Paris, a new boutique for the jewelry brand Repossi. Whatever the commission, Marcelis says her process begins by finding a new way of treating an existing material. “I never set out to design ‘a light’ or ‘a mirror,’" she said. "I find an effect, and eventually it turns into something interesting.”

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016