Cerno was established in 2009 as an industrial design and manufacturing company innovating modern LED lighting fixtures with a mission to fuse quality, performance and resource efficiency with modern design. Their intention is to design with focus and purpose, yielding products that blend form and function into objects of purposeful and personal value. With a belif that the often overlooked objects we surround ourselves with represent an opportunity for expression and personal enjoyment, they aim to produce products that take advantage of this opportunity and fill this need for the conscientious consumer. The end product is art resolved with science, Cerno’s design and engineering team work hand in hand, which promotes a communicative honest approach to design. The three founder’s passion for design, quality and precision execution is visible in each hand assembled fixture.
5 QUESTIONS WITH CERNO
How did you start and how long have you been designing?
Cerno has been in existence for 3 1/2 years, but the friendship has been around for most of our lives. Nick and Daniel have been designing furniture and different objects since they were young boys, I (Bret) helped with several of the projects, but I have to admit that they were my inspiration. Daniel’s grandfather was a master craftsman and mechanic and definitely the person that inspired him to pursue degree in mechanical engineering and later Cerno. Nick’s dad was a contractor and designer that involved Nick in his projects from when he was just a boy. I remember being in grade school and Nick had designed a beautiful old craftsman mailbox for his family’s home and various other projects. I also think that when Daniel and Nick became close as boys that they inspired one another.
How would you describe your design style?
Our style transcends different genres of design and cannot be labeled as one distinct style. There are aspects of our pieces that are very modern, others that are more contemporary. Nick is prolific, drawing constantly and his creativity is extremely well rounded. He has a formal education in architecture, and been an artist and craftsman his whole life. His dynamic background coupled with Daniel’s engineering skills is what gives our product a unique aesthetic and what makes it deceptively less engineered than it really is. Deceptive because the clean minimalist lines distract everything that is actually going on under the hood.
What’s the most challenging aspect of making?
Putting it in a box and making sure it ships safely.
What designs / designers do you get inspired by?
If you are going to ask a designer to explain what they are inspired by or what their influences are, you may as well ask them to start at birth and recount everything that has shaped them into who they are today. It is a life time of conscious and unconscious digesting, it is the individuality and the unique way that each of our brains are wired, it’s our dexterity and hand-eye coordination, where we have and have not been, the trauma and privilege that we have and have not experienced. There is so much more that exists in-between the lines of the words and images we consume – if you have ever attempted to build something, write something, draw something or create anything; you know that there is often not an explanation for how you arrived at the final product. The tangibles and intangibles are not always explainable. Similar to how a veteran surgeon relies more on intuition from past experiences than anything else, a designer relies on all that they have ever experienced and that is the simple answer for what inspires us.
Describe your views on sustainability?
We love the ocean, mountains and natural enviroment in general and realize how important it is to be knowledgeable about environmentally responsible design and manufacturing practices. Being nearly 100% vertically integrated makes it a lot easier to make sure that our products are manufactured correctly. We recycle all the scrap metal and wood that we can and make every effort to maximize our material yield as well as select our materials responsibly.