Route Aero313; the journey from London to Detroit

Partner Programme

17 — 18, 20 — 25 Sept 2022

Architecture / Landscape, Industrial & Product Design

Borough Yards

Clink Street Entrance



Aero313 luminaire is designed by BDG and manufactured by FUTURE Designs in the UK. This bespoke light fitting, created for the latest WPP campus in Detroit, encapsulates the rich history of the city where it is located in the historic Marquette Building, a 150,000 sq ft campus in downtown Detroit.

The journey from an initial sketch by BDG to a fully functional office light manufactured by FUTURE Designs took place during the pandemic with the first full prototype made in May 2020 with manufacturing beginning just a month later and the initial shipment dispatched in October of that same year. FUTURE Designs manufactured bespoke wooden crates to transport the luminaires. These crates are fully reusable with no pallets, card or shrink wrap packaging to minimise weight and corresponding environmental impact. Upon arrival, the luminaires were craned into the windows of the Marquette Building. The Aero 313 has a simple three point install with pre-wired power lead for added ease of assembly. Together BDG and FUTURE Designs embraced this once in a lifetime opportunity to create a spectacular luminaire which meets exacting technical standards and enhances this landmark workspace in Detroit.The lights are oversized circular forms. The design is manufactured from laser-cut aluminium, chosen for its lightweight properties, which was then powder-coated white. Around a continuous circle of LED lighting, there are three layers of fire-rated stretch fabric, coloured white on the underside so that light can diffuse and reflect. The mounted LED strip supports the internal back lighting of stretched fabric provide diffused light across the face of the luminaire providing optimal illumination without unwanted glare and accentuating the curve of the luminaire. The large-scale luminaire, measuring 2235mm in diameter and 550mm deep, had to incorporate a number of practical requirements such as sprinklers, M+E systems, speakers and smoke detectors. The luminaire has a perforated plinth with acoustic material behind it, with services mounted to the plate. The plate can be removed entirely to accommodate mechanical diffusers and there is also a removable acoustic panel within the top of the luminaire. This light is a creative, non-traditional way to approach the ceiling and acoustics budget of a commercial project such as WPP Detroit. Aero 313 meets the American UL standard in terms of safety and sustainability, as well as complying with UK standards.