Photo: Nicki Newburger

Known for her imagination and ability to look at a project from many angles, Helen Gifford brings a creative diligence to her work as a custom lighting designer. With each project, she aims to expand the core of the design sensibility and stretch the creative process. Motivated by fulfilling the needs of her clients, it's a process that followed upon her studies at Parson's School of Design and into the founding of her company, HelenBilt.

Gifford's captivating light sculptures grace such interiors as the Ritz Carlton, Beijing, the penthouse duplex in New York City's Hilton Hotel and the San Diego W Hotel. The Aria Penthouse Suites in Las Vegas are a source of pride for the work she completed for the Dubai/Mirage Group. Discerning clients Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rachel Weisz have commissioned her delicate work for their homes. Gifford's signature light sculptures-the Urchin, Concord, Valo and Bolhas-are exhibited in the Hamptons on the East End of Long Island, where Gifford makes her home.

The designer's work has also been featured in national publications, such as Interior Design, Metropolitan Home, House and Garden, and The New York Times, and internationally with Architectural Digest (France), MAP Magazine (Australia), in addition to shelter magazines in Germany, Greece, and Holland.

When asked to encapsulate her aesthetic, Gifford describes it as Industrial Beach, a moniker she coined to describe the place where both raw and natural elements reign. The designer counts Gerhard Richter, DaDa, Marcel Duchamp, Charles Sheeler, Charles Demouth, and early Georgia O'Keefe as influential, as well as the inimitable work of Alexander Calder and the life-changing work of Richard Serra.

Gifford's plans for the next wave of her product designs include hand-made wallpapers and coverings, signature scented 100% soy candles, a line of luxe nesting tables, and a collection of sumptuous textiles. She is completing her first book, which is slated for publication late next year.

Illuminating Engineering Society of New York
Association of Women Industrial Designers