As three friends living in Laguna Beach, how did you turn the idea of Cerno turn into a functioning, successful business model?
We love what we do and the products that we make, so the next part of the equation was taking it to market, and if the market received the product well, then we would have a business… fortunately the product has been well received. The less glamorous version of this story is that Cerno is definitely our blood, sweat, and tears and we have learned a lot about what it takes to establish a company and brand, primarily a lot of hard work.
“Cerno’s design and engineering team work hand in hand…” this seems like a utopian workplace. How important is it to keep the majority of concepting and production in-house?
Keeping the design and production in-house allows nothing to be lost in translation and facilitates Daniel to engineer products that stay true to Nick’s original vision. It also promotes progressive evolution, because our entire process happens under one roof, we can continually refine our process and products.
Can you elaborate on the benefits and advances surrounding LED lighting?
The LED technology is constantly evolving and improving. LEDs longevity continues to increase, the phosphor technology is now allowing LEDs to have the warm 2700k feel of the archaic incandescent bulb and they are also becoming more and more efficient. The L Prize has set the bar high and the prerequisites are being satisfied, which is really exciting and truly incredible for everyone working with LEDs. Another benefit is the flexibility that it allows the designers, we are no longer designing fixtures around a bulb, hence the smaller forms that a lot of designers are embracing in their LED fixtures.
From design movements to music playlists, what influences Cerno’s unique aesthetic?
Nick Sheridan: “At architecture school you are exposed to art, design, sociology, philosophy, and science and forced to engage and practice in all of these disciplines. They give you time to think about design in a holistic way. Some time while at school I gravitated to the modern Bauhaus philosophy – the work of Le Corbusier and Mies van de Rohe I had an affinity for. From concept to production, I work very closely with our mechanical engineer/partner Dan so design decisions can be informed by the reality of material properties and manufacturing processes. This attention to detail is to stave off that moment when a specific component, material, process, availability, and typically cost implications force a design to change at the hands of an engineer instead of the designer.”
We sense the team’s environmental embrace – resource efficiency, recycled materials, the occasional surf outing. How does this eco-conscious outlook impact Cerno lighting and furnishings?
It is real easy to neglect the environment when manufacturing product, it is also easy to design and manufacture product in an environmentally responsible fashion. We would be acting negligently if we did not take this into consideration while developing our lights. We strive to be as efficient as possible throughout the entire process. We recycle all of our metal shavings, we use the scrap wood for sample material rings and marketing collateral, and the fact that we use highly efficient LEDs inherently makes the line very eco responsible.