Reawakening the Desk Lamp: Optical Illusions and more, from Studio Cheha
As far as I was concerned, despite innovation in form, materiality, and lighting technology, nothing had dramatically changed the traditional desk lamp for many years now. I had ceased to expect anything truly out of the ordinary from these light fixtures that belong in our offices and homes, no matter how glitzy their surfaces and dynamic their shapes.
But then a few weeks ago, I experienced a kind of wonder and interaction with light and lamps that I had only experienced once before, as a child. Way back then, it was a beautiful glass cube, inside which was a small plant made of optic fibers (as we called them back then). As it grew darker and darker in my bedroom each night, the changing lights at the tips of those optic fibers would speak to me as I fell asleep.
Fast forward to 2016. That sense of wonder, this time, around, came from looking at a fascinating series of lamps from Studio Cheha. The ByBulbing Series of lamps (successor to the previous Bulbing series by designer Nir Chehanowski) is what I saw, and is unique for many reasons. The first is that the lamps are both two dimensional and three dimensional at once. They are an optical illusion. Using transparent acrylic, intricately etched lines on it, and LED light that passes through them both, a three-dimensional effect is created, from a very two-dimensional surface.
Spread over two collections (Bulbing and ByBulbing) the conventional and everyday image of a desk lamp is replaced by a very slim profile that takes many forms–several variations of an old-school lamp, a skull, a large light bulb, headphones, and even a Teddy Bear. The best part is that these ordinary, and perhaps even childlike forms have a dignified grown-up status through these lamps. So much so, that I would have no shame placing that bear, or the headphones on my desk, or by my bedside every night.
It's wonderful when design breaks down the perceptions you have and challenges you to bring something beautiful and unusual into your life.
Since I have experienced that sense of wonder through these lamps, and the craftsmanship and materiality used to create them pique me, I will be ordering a lamp for myself very soon.
Just as soon as I finish this article.
Follow Studio Cheha's work through the link embedded in the image below.