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The Fair
January 24, 2024

Color, pattern, and texture shape Hannah Bigeleisen’s furniture and lighting designs. Trained as a sculptor, she creates highly crafted pieces that are elegant yet playful. She founded her studio, H. Bigeleisen, in 2020, and lives in Ridgewood, Queens, with her husband, the designer Steven Bukowski.

  • The Vala console, an indoor/outdoor unit fashioned from wood, gypsum, and a 2K polyurethane coating

    The Vala console, fashioned from wood, gypsum, and polyurethane.

  • The aluminum Petal sconce, which was inspired by floral shapes.

    The aluminum Petal sconce.

As a kid, what did you answer when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I wanted to be what I called an inventor, someone who made things that had never existed before. So, I think I’m right on track.

Who are a few designers that you follow on Instagram?

Steven Bukowski (@stevenbukowski) Steven is my husband, and he makes bold, sculptural furniture that is so beautifully engineered and crafted. He also takes the best photos of our studio cat.

Bowen Liu (@bowenliustudio) They make the most beautiful pieces with such tremendous sensitivity to detail.

Indo (@indomade). I love how they explore and express light and reflectivity with their mirrors.

Robert Sukrachand (@sukrachand) Robert is my good friend and collaborator; our Blob sconces debuted last year at ICFF. I love his stories about his life in Thailand and all of the amazing craftspeople he collaborates with there.

  • The Ellsworth lamp in blue

    The Ellsworth lamp in blue

  • The Ellsworth family

    The Ellsworth family

Was there a moment when you realized you wanted to be a designer? If so, what was it?

There was a very literal light-bulb moment. I had a sculptural piece that I put a light bulb in and viola: It was my first lamp! I was hooked from there. Creating sculptural pieces that people could live with and love brings me so much joy.

Which of your pieces, products, and/or projects are you most proud? Why?

I am most proud of my first lighting design, the Ellsworth lamp, because it shifted my studio practice into design. Otherwise, I’m still swooning over a piece I released earlier this year called the Throne chair. It is equal parts sculpture, function, and statement.


  • The Throne chair by Hannah Bigeleisen,

    The Throne chair

  • The Throne bench

What is the most pressing issue in the design world today?

Sustainability is huge. But that doesn’t necessarily have to mean only recycled or upcycled materials. I think designs that are built to be heirloom-quality also offer another aspect to that conversation.

What are you currently working on?

Experimentation is always a part of my practice, so I’m currently playing around with new cement formulations and surface finishes.

Just curious: What is your favorite movie? And your favorite band or song?

Favorite movie is a tough one, as is my favorite band or song. But my all-time favorite radio station is WFMU! It is a freeform radio station based in Jersey City, New Jersey, that plays really amazing music from all genres and eras.