In many regards the name of Ljubljana based designer Matej Štefanac’s new lamp is a misnomer, because pendulums swing and the defining feature of, the argument made by, the joy of, Matej’s lamp is that doesn’t: It is resolutely, tenaciously, unapologetically static.
Until you move it, then it follows your every whim; the technology allowing as it does the lamp to be swung through 180 degrees so that it can shine directly to the left, directly to the right, and everywhere in between. A flexibility expanded by the fact it twists on its central support through a full 360 degrees meaning it can be pointed in any direction, apart from upwards, any direction downward and sideways between flat left and flat right.
And sits, resolutely, tenaciously, unapologetically static wherever you place it. For as long as you want it to remain there. And when you want to move it. Pendulum is ready.
A flexibility and variation that in allowing for not only direct and indirect lighting, but the ready, effortless and reliable switch between the two without having to move the whole lamp, enables, or at least should enable, it to serve a myriad functions, be that in the privacy of the home, home office, or in more public spaces, for example, hotels, libraries, lounges, etc. and that while itself being thoroughly unobtrusive: when on one’s focus is very much the illumination, that practical functionality, and when off can cut a number of pleasing, decorative, reserved figures. Depending on how one positions it Pendulum can give the impression of being, for example, a satellite dish with its antennae pointed to the stars; or a mushroom, a much employed conceit in lamp design, but of which Pendulum offers a charming new take; or, and staying context of pendulums, a clock, stopped, letting time pass it by, confidently and self-evidently ignoring its raison d’etre, while all the time waiting for action. Which reminds of that deceit physics uses to justify the First Law of Thermodynamics: the principle that energy cannot be created nor destroyed being dependent on Potential Energy, that which Pendulum possess when awaiting your command, or which a pendulum would possess if actually frozen in space and time as Matej has achieved. But which clearly isn’t an energy.
Beyond its very satisfying and engaging character and modus operandi, we particularly approve of and delight in Matej’s decision to design Pendulum as a fully repairable object; despite the relative complexity of the technology that enables its stupidly simple functionality, the lamp is, according to Matej we’ve not actually tried but we see no reason to doubt him, according to Matej the lamp can be completely disassembled and through the supply of spare parts affordably and simply repaired even by those without advanced technical skills. Or indeed any technical sills. Which is one of those things that used to exist, one thinks, for example, of Wagenfeld’s (and Jucker’s) famous Weimar lamp, a work that as with Pendulum reduces a lamp to a function, whereby Pendulum very satisfyingly extends that functionality, extends understandings of the functionality of a lamp, without adding to the complexity, and a Wagenfeld (and Jucker) lamp that not only has certain formal similarities with Pendulum, the silhouettes of the two being not that far removed from one another, but can also be simply, effortlessly, taken apart and repaired, as and when required. Today lamps, as with most all technical objects, are closed boxes whose repair is either prohibitively expensive, or impossible. We much prefer the direction Matej Štefanac is taking. And very much like the myriad directions you can place his lamp’s illumination, and the ease and intuitiveness with which one can change that direction.
For all in or near Vienna the Pendulum lamp, and other works by Matej Štefanac, can be viewed, and tested, and discussed with Matej, in the Vienna Design Week Festivalzentrale in Prater, 2., Laufbergergasse 12 until Sunday October 1st. Details of opening times and the accompanying programme can be found at www.viennadesignweek.at
And for everyone else, or those reading after October 1st 2023, more information, and an online shop, can be found at https://matejstefanac.com/