Nick Sheridan, one of three friends and co-Founders of Cerno, is the lead designer for the California-based light manufacturer whose mission is to design and build original products that marry modernism and contemporary design.
Sheridan cultivated an interest in design from a young age by tagging along with his father, a general contractor, to construction sites. The pair would often venture to visit iconic architectural sites like the Gamble House, a famous craftsman styled home, in Pasadena.
Sheridan went on to study architecture where he was exposed to modernism and minimalism, gained inspiration from architects like Mies Van Der Rohe and Le Corbusie, and was significantly influenced by the juxtaposition of old and new architecture while he studied abroad in Florence. All of these influenced and ultimately shaped the Cerno style.
A few of his favorite designs from over the years, include the Vesper, Acuo, Levo, and Camur.
The Vesper is a simple geometric sculpture composed of brushed aluminum, American black walnut, and white polymer. The light not only washes up and down the wall but also filters out through the composition, exhibiting the fixture’s depth in three dimensions. It is about creating a sculptural balance without relying on simple symmetry. It showcases the materials beautifully, showing the oiled walnut bathed in soft light.
The Acuo is a favorite because it showcases our ingenuity and execution applied to a simple form. Distilled down, it’s a three-sided box that has been carefully deconstructed to a sculptural state. The calculated use of overlap and void are both complex yet simple, which is what I believe makes this fixture intriguing. The way each part is pulled away from its neighbor allows you to experience the solid American black walnut’s grain as it travels through each solid block.
The Levo is an amazingly effective and useful fixture with a striking aesthetic form. The goal when we started to design this fixture was to create a bedside wall fixture with an articulate task lighting component as well as a high functioning ambient light source. Each light source can be used individually or together. A few years ago we added a USB charger. People have joked that it’s like a Swiss Army knife, which is honestly pretty fitting.
The Camur form has a subtle uniqueness that must be experienced in person to be appreciated. The gentle curve appears from the bottom just the same as it does from the sides, and as you walk around the fixture the dynamic shape appears to shift from curved to straight. Here we use American Black Walnut and carefully bend each piece to create the curved form, allowing the bottom face to be our light diffuser casting soft light below.
Cerno was founded ten years ago, by three friends who all shared a love of design and build. Growing up in Laguna Beach, they were surrounded by the strange and unique melting pot of artists, surfers, hippies and professionals which exposed them to meaningful cultural experiences that later would inspire their eco-friendly lighting designs.