Freeloader

Cheers and Grilled Cheese at Dwell's Light & Energy Cocktails

Polarizing in D.C., Energy Efficiency Cause for a Party in New York

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Fred Bernstein, Charles Renfro and Marc Kushner at Dwell's Light & Energy party
Fred Bernstein, Charles Renfro and Marc Kushner at Dwell's Light & Energy party

The Event: Dwell Magazine's Light & Energy Cocktail Party
The Date: April 26, 2012
The Venue: Industria, Studio 6, New York
The Crowd: Dwell Editor-in-Chief Amanda Dameron, President Michela O'Connor, Lemnis Lighting CEO Warner Philips, Luceplan USA CEO Giuseppe Butti, DJ Brendan Fallis and designers including Stefanie Brechbuehler, David Weeks, Jason Miller and Bec Brittain
The Food: The Milk Truck Grilled Cheese, offering The Classic (Gruyere on Flax seed bread), The Classic with a Twist (Gruyere, Champagne vinegar pickled onions, whole grain mustard) and Three Cheese (Gruyere, New York state cheddar, domestic bleu)
The Drinks: Official sponsors Voli Lyte and Peroni beer, plus the usual red and white wines
The Swag: Not much other than the April Light & Energy Issue of Dwell and a few business cards. Pharox light bulbs were also on display as if they were up for grabs, but something about taking light-bulbs to-go didn't seem quite right.
The Scene: A 3,500-square-foot studio space filled with about 150 to 200 people, mostly either dressed up or wearing the never-go-wrong jeans-and-blazer ensemble.

Energy-efficient lighting has become a polarizing subject in Washington, but for Dwell magazine it's an excuse to bring together designers, sponsors and a grilled-cheese truck in Manhattan's West Village.

Dwell Editor-in-Chief Amanda Dameron and Lemnis Lighting CEO Warner Philips
Dwell Editor-in-Chief Amanda Dameron and Lemnis Lighting CEO Warner Philips

Designers such as Bec Brittain, whose Shy light was one of 14 light designs displayed, circulated at the party while onlookers took snapshots of new light designs with their phones. The Milk Truck parked right outside kept the sandwiches coming. (Freeloader isn't usually a mustard type of person but the Classic with a twist owned the night, hands down -- at least in the absence of one menu item, its usual Bacon Cheddar Blue sandwich.) And the bar held the party's center.

"I've been talking too much to eat cheese sandwiches," said Warner Philips, CEO of Lemnis Lighting -- and the great-grandson of the man who founded Dutch lighting and electronics giant Philips. "No but really, I've been talking to the designers a lot -- well-designed bulbs are great replacements for high-wattage bulbs that consume a lot of energy."

Amanda Dameron, editor-in-chief of Dwell, agreed. "It doesn't get much better than making beautiful things that are making the world a better place," she said.

Earlier in the evening Ms. Dameron and Mr. Philips spoke to the crowd about lights that were efficient but also well-designed. Occasionally interrupted by someone's toddler, who found pleasure in yelling loudly and sporadically, Mr. Philips was a good sport. "We love cheerleaders," he said. Efficient bulbs could probably use a few more of those in D.C.

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