Architecture. Construction Management. Jewelry. Furniture. Lighting. Elish Warlop is a make-her-own-rules kind of woman.
Elish Warlop’s design career has been one of exploration—the pull to create forever nudging her towards new materials, scales, industries, and technologies. Having started out as a licensed architect, Warlop was trained to examine the interaction between people and their surroundings.
Her want to understand the whole of project development (from concept to completion) soon shifted her architectural career to include construction management, propelling her into new roles: LEED consultant, site supervisor, interior designer, etc. In late 2007, equipped with a trailer and a pink hardhat, Elish launched EFW construction.
Elish now describes this period as…almost right. While her design/make knowledge continued to expand, so did her desire to delve deeper. In 2011, craving more creative freedom and exploration, she decided to pursue an MFA in furniture design from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design.
The Next Chapter
After graduation in 2013, Elish—who now specializes in innovative lighting and furniture design—launched Elish Warlop Design Studio. In 2014, her Ring of Fire light fixture was featured in and won the inaugural WantedDesign Launch Pad Exhibit, an exhibit held during NYCxDesign in conjunction with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). The award precipitated her relationship with Design Within Reach which licensed the fixture for production.
Her work has since been featured in Interior Design, Luxe Magazine, Architectural Digest and the Utah Museum of Modern Art. She will also be a part of “Design by Women,” an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design in Miami.
Elish’s work addresses notions of scale, repetition and engagement—employing these themes to both foster intrigue and reveal how the whole is connected to the parts. The resulting pieces possess a sense of quiet elegance that belies their complexity. Across lighting, furniture and jewelry; her work is permeated by ideals of wonder and inquiry. Extensive experimentation, model making, and prototyping capacitate each completed design.
TARRA sat down with Elish to discuss her journey, her insights, and her work.