Designer Profile: Riley Sanders, Senior Product Designer of Astro Lighting

Name: Riley Sanders  Astro
Company: Astro Lighting 
Position within company: Senior Product Designer


Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
After graduating from Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand, I worked in a broad range of design-based roles from architecture and interiors to furniture and products and now specifically lighting products. This range of experience gave me a well-rounded approach to design.

How would you describe your personal design style?
Honest. I think it is important to be honest to the materials I use to create products. It is the material that is often the hero of my designs.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
I will often start with a material or a production technique, this will provide the parameters for the design process. I love to explore what is possible when working with a material in a specific way and try to find innovation within this. New technology can also inform a design.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I’d like to think society are becoming more aware of the impact of a purchase. With design being so accessible it is increasingly important to design towards a better future and help consumers to make the right choices. Sustainable and ethical manufacturing are key drivers for a positive future in design.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Keep things simple. Pick a few key feature pieces to focus the design scheme around.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
They are an incredible opportunity for Astro to highlight its design credentials on a global platform.

What projects are you currently working on?
A range of exciting new products using a brand-new material finish for Astro. We are also investigating partnering with local manufactures and of course, a Capsule Collection sequel.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Development of volume two for the Capsule Collection range, taking on board what we learned, and improve on from volume one.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession? Two Knoll Bertoia chairs design by Harry Bertoia – a design classic. They cast the most amazing shadows across my balcony during the day.

Your favourite holiday destination? Paris is always a source of great inspiration. The architecture and culture in the city centre are packed with hidden gems.

Your favourite book? Dieter Rams, As Little Design As Possible.


Astro have been shortlisted for Lighting Piece Award in The International Design and Architecture Awards.

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