Free-standing lights were always around, whether in the shape of oil-lamps, or large, standalone candle holders, the invention of electrical light has opened up new possibilities. Since then, architects, designers and artists have dedicated their energies to create ever more formally and conceptually innovative free-standing lights.
The designs range from the minimal ‘Tube Light’ by Eileen Gray, now manufactured by ClassiCon, a free-standing light composed of two sleek tubes, to Alvar Aalto’s elegant ‘Floor Lamp A808’ that features a polished brass lampshade. Ulf Möller’s 2010 ‘LUM 110’ free-standing light for Thonet emulates this modernist elegance by being made of a single, bent, steel tube that incorporates LED lights in its body.
Designs such as these are countered by more whimsical ones, such as Knut Benedikt Humlevik’s and Rune Krøgaard’s ‘Mr. Fang floor lamp’ for NORR11, a grey monochrome free-standing light with an ornamental, composite base and a large lampshade; or Studio Job’s ‘bucket’ for moooi, where an upturned bucket with gold-plated inside forms a lampshade and a wooden stool forms a base. Similarly playful, Hella Jongerius’s ‘Blossom-12’ for BELUX mounts three distinct lights, complete with visible cables, onto a steel rod, while Maarten Baas’s ‘Plain Clay Floor light’ for DHPH is a plastic free-standing light that looks as if its slender support had been hand-made from clay.
More sculptural approach was chosen by From Us With Love for Capellini’s ‘Lace Metall Lamp’, where the bold cylindrical volumes of the free-standing light contract with the airy mesh used to construct it. In a similar vein, Naoto Fukasawa’s ‘Leia-10-OP’ is a single, large, internally-illuminated column. Designed by the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, ‘Bracelli’ free-standing light by BD Barcelona combines a robust, zig-zag base covered in gold leaf and a traditional lamp shade. Jasper Morrison’s ‘Glo-Ball F1’ also uses this duality, combining a straight, slender steel rod-base and a round, fibreglass-reinforced, polyamide diffuser.