The design industry can be a competitive place, but the Brooklyn-based lighting studio In Common With and fellow Brooklynite, ceramicist Danny Kaplan, have made a compelling case for working together. The two studios have come together to launch ‘Terra’, a sculptural lighting collection featuring Kaplan’s ceramic work that they have designed together.

Stemming from a mutual admiration that first emerged over social media, the partnership between In Common With and Kaplan started out organically and continues to grow, with eight new geometric forms now joining the original six pieces that they unveiled in 2020, on the cusp of the pandemic.

‘Terra’ ceramic lamps by In Common With and Danny Kaplan

portrait of Danny Kaplan, Nick Ozemba and Felicia Hung, with ceramic lamps
Portrait of Danny Kaplan, Nick Ozemba and Felicia Hung. Photography by William Jess Laird

‘Our studio was founded around a spirit of collaboration. Because materiality is so central to what we do, we are always looking to work with other makers, artists and craftspeople who complement our point of view, skill set and have expertise in a particular material, whether it’s metalwork, glass or ceramics,’ says Nick Ozemba, who co-founded In Common With alongside fellow designer Felicia Hung. ‘We love the interplay of light with the tactility of hand-thrown ceramics. Danny has such a mastery of the medium, so he was the perfect person to help us bring these pieces to life.’

Ozemba adds, ‘The first iteration of “Terra” launched digitally in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and really resonated with our clients. We have continued experimenting with new ideas, and it’s exciting to now expand the collection in new directions. Danny has such a distinctive, yet timeless sensibility and an interest in form that parallels the approach Felicia and I have to design. Together, I think we have arrived at a new design language that came together in really interesting and unexpected ways.’

Paloma ceramic lamp by In Common With and Danny Kaplan
’Paloma’ pendant

While not deviating from In Common With’s crisp and minimalist sensibility, ‘Terra’ leverages Kaplan’s handcrafted quality of ceramics and rich, tactile glazes to bring a new harmony between beauty and utility. Simple orb forms and timeless geometric assemblages exude a mercurial quality when combined with Kaplan’s gestures in ceramic and glaze.

New colourways, such as ivy greens, rust tones and even lapis, bring out a new lustre in ceramic form, that’s further complemented by brass hardware and concealed wiring. Each piece – the collaborative collection spans surface mount lights, a pendant, a sconce, a table lamp, a floor lamp, and the brand’s first mirror – easily illuminates an interior.

mirror by In Common With and Danny Kaplan
’Augustus’ mirror

‘These objects look unlike anything we have done before in terms of colour and scale and are some of our boldest, most ambitious pieces to date,’ Ozemba says.

‘The larger lights, like the “Paloma” pendant and “Helena” floor lamps, are bordering on the monumental with totemic forms – they are approaching something that almost blurs the line between lighting and sculpture.’ §

Ceramic lamp by In Common With and Danny Kaplan
’Helena’ floor lamp