Sunday May 9 2010 / Art & Design

It is easy to take the everyday objects we see around us for granted. Familiarity may not bring contempt;but it certainly can imbue an aura of invisibility. And the ubiquitous reading lamp is as familiar as they come - usually noticed more for the light they provide rather than as interesting objects in their own right.

But happily there are artists who have created lamps that express a statement, make us think, and that are interesting in themselves.

Icelandic designer Kristín Birna Bjarnadóttir has created a lamp she calls Illuminant, based on the idea of, "What goes around comes around."

The lampshade is made of reflective material normally used for safety clothing and hangs from the ceiling by fine fishing line. The ethereal threads hanging under the shade are cut from the same reflective material as the shade and give a good impression of a fluorescent jelly fish.

The light source is an LED on the floor with four coloured filters  - red, violet, blue, brown - selected according to the mood you wish to convey.

For more information, http://www.kristinbirna.com/

Taking a more industrial approach, David Benatan, who is with the Demo design clinic in Tel Aviv, has designed a series of lamps called KOZO using plumbing parts.

The lamps are made of galvanised iron and are switched on and off using the tap.
The KOZO parts come from around the world and each bares the trademarks of its origin country. The materials are left raw and alive, with little authentic rust at the joints and the marks from hand tools that were used in the assembly process.

The DEMO / design clinic  is a cooperation of 5 designers sharing a studio in Tel Aviv.  Their ethos is to use ready made materials to and try to reduce manufacturing to zero. DEMO's basic assumption is that there are so many things at hand that everything that you need must have already been made for you, and sometimes it is “built in” another product.
For more information, www.kozo-lamp.com and www.demo-design.com

Suggested by
Maximilian Büsser