Modular lighting is a seldom encountered genre, and when it is encountered, then invariably in a very technical form, a form that implies the computer software has taken a greater role in the creative process than the designers understanding of form-giving,
There are however exceptions…..
Although we saw the 304 collection by Nick Beens’ at the 2017 Design Academy Eindhoven Graduation Exhibition, it’s inclusion here should in no way be considered us claiming it was the best 2017 Eindhoven graduation project.
It might be. But such were the crowds at the Design Academy Eindhoven Graduation Exhibition, we didn’t see everything. And certainly didn’t have the chance to properly digest all that we did see. Are still working our way through some of the projects. And so can make no overall statement. The 304 collection was however a project that instantly caught our attention, was readily digestible, and which continues to nourish us.
Not least because of the almost painful simplicity of the concept.
Based around powder coated steel tubes connected by translucent synthetic rings, the joy of the 304 systems comes on the one hand from the variety of different forms the metal tubes take and their free connectability and rotatability, meaning you can create and re-create and re-create lamps as your needs and mood require; on the other hand, the fact that being powder coated on the inside as well as on the outside the illumination from the end of the lamp carries the internal hue. Clearly the intensity/subtlety of the effect depends on the ambient light conditions, does however provide a nice contrast with the warm white from the base and connection; and on the very rare and valuable third hand, the universality and easy accessibility of the objects.
Back at Milan 2017 we got quite excited by Konstantin Grcic’s project Noctambule for Flos which sees monumental industrial glass forms connected via magic light glue, “the light doesn’t come from where it should” we noted. Neither does it with 304. And the effect is every bit as satisfying.
The difference between the two being that there is nothing monumental about 304, if with its many references to metal pipes, it is unquestionably industrial. Domestic industrial; the abstraction taking it far enough away from the original to give it a character, purpose and elegance of its own.
Full details can be found at www.nickbeens.com