This beautiful planter/light sculpture concept, called Schattengewächs, belongs to German designer Maximilian Winkel. Unlike its botanical relatives, these ‘flowers’ are powered by darkness rather than sunlight. The light is turned on automatically thanks to the photosensor hidden in the pot. The engineering behind the Schattengewächs is fairly simple – it is powerd either by four coin cells or by two contacts (anode and cathode) directly from the soil of the flower pot. The contrast between the real planter and the light flower projection has some subtle humor to it. The Schattengewächs can add a nice accent to a roofdeck or a balcony (if you are blessed with those) and also illuminate any dark indoor area.
If you want to see something truly efficient and ergonomically aligned – lend your attention to office furniture manufacturers. They know their stuff! Office furniture has different exploitation standards, and it rarely gets changed on a whim, so – designers have to really know if their idea will still be relevant in a few years’ time, both functionally and aesthetically. For us, shoebox dwellers, it is also important. We have our own limitations and need well thought out design. Which brings me to this piece from German company TopdeQ. The Ciconia lamp, designed by Rainer Bachschmid, is a striking example of dual function done right. When folded, it can serve as a delicate ambient light sculpture, that spreads soft light around itself. But if you take the two symmetrical components apart – you get a powerful desk lamp with 30 LEDs. The reflective stainless steal, the body of the lamp is made from, empowers the light source. And with the lifespan of the LED 100,000 hours, you can forget about changing bulbs for over a decade.
Isn’t it nice when your things can perform additional tasks? Even when it is something small, like providing a place for your book… This Book Rest Lamp, resembling an outline of a house, will allow you to save your page. When you are done with your reading, simply place it face down on the lamp. The book becomes a literary rooftop, and the lamp itself – an instant night light. Made out of glass, the Book Rest Lamp contains low-heat internal CFL bulb, which gives it both safety and a warm glow.
The Stick lamp by Todd Bracher is the minimalist’s dream. Inspired by the walking stick insect, the lamp blends with the surroundings while providing an adequate illumination. This biometric design is also pleasing to the eye – the piece looks both modern and natural. The LED lamp can be pointed in any direction, the metal tubing hides the cord. Elegant, functional, space-saving… This design quite simply has it all.
If you like multifunctional, adjustable and slightly nerdy designs – you will love this lamp. The LichtKiste from German creator Clemens Tiss is a light box with two panels removed. The remaining panels are rearranged to adjust the light intensity. The LichtKiste lamp can take numberless shapes and formes. It also dobles as a side table with the possibility of shelving (when the panels are slided closer to each other). What is not to love?..
One cannot be truly design-oriented today without considering the ecological aspect of the object. This piece, for example, in addition to being a thing of visual delight, can make us feel good about the production methods. Made out of 100% recycled (and recyclable) leather, o-Re-gami lampshade, designed by Matali Crasset for Regenesi, made quite an appearance at the latest Maison & Objet in Paris. Here is how the designer conveys his vision: ‘In France, interest in post-consumer products is not new but it is difficult to find companies with a genuine will to act and find a new production logic. Regenesi represents this approach and my design revolves around playing with basic things; you start with a sheet and then proceed from two dimensions to three, generating origami shapes… Then, by slightly changing the fold, the shape can offer a different function.’ And like every genius idea it sounds and looks so simple – an unexpected material, some folding and perforating, and the magic is done. Why no one else had thought of that…
Alain Monnens, the guy who designed the Flip lamp we like, came up with something interesting again. His new creation for tossB is called 25DEGREES. This unusual light fixture is made out of quadratic aluminium tubes, cut at a 25 degree angle. When mount on a wall or a ceiling, the lamp creates projection of light on the surface. This effect really comes to life when you position several 25DEGREES fixtures side by side. 360˚ rotatable, they can create multiple patterns of light on your wall or ceiling. 25DEGREES lamp is available in white, black and grey paint or brushed aluminum.
This unusual lamp was designed by the young Pasadena-based designer Soo Kwon. The idea of the piece, which is reservedly called Licht, was to combine high-design with low-tech manufacturing (the latter allowed for the relatively low price of the product). Kwon noticed how the traditional lamp silhouette shapes the light and made this shape an inspiration. The result – clever, functional and effortless design. The piece comes in two colors and in both floor and table versions. The Licht can be purchased online.
As the world is increasingly switching to energy-saving lighting, nostalgia enters designers’ hearts. The good old Edison’s lightbulb makes a comeback, if not in function, at least in its warm and familiar shape. This sentimental product from Vienna-based designer Maciej Chmara is called Sympathy for the Bulb. It masks the energy-saving bulb inside the more rounded and traditional aperture. Note the clever packaging – another emotional aspect of the piece.
This is the second decade of the 21st century, and even though flying cars are sill in the wish-list, some cool things are already out. This lamp for example. What can be more futuristic than drawing out light with your hands? Having been shown at Imm Cologne last week, Rima desk lamp by Dreipuls became a huge hit. Its innovative mechanism contains a series of LED lights, that are controlled by sliding rings along the metal rail. The rings are detected by the optical sensors, and the light emerges. The item had won the prestigious red dot award in 2010.