October 19 2011
I’m woefully incapable of stopping myself falling in love with lamps at the moment. Top of my lamp beauty list is the recently reissued Kaiser Idell table lamp for Fritz Hansen, a flying saucer-y steel take on a traditional desk lamp in shiny red gloss (and other colours). And then there’s the Eclipse, a 1980s design by the Brazilian designer and engineer Mauricio Klabin, which features in the permanent collection at MoMA. This one I haven’t been able to resist buying as a bedside duo for my recently made-over bedroom (the walls have turned from dark beige to near-black, and so I needed replacements for my black candlestick standard lamps).
The Eclipse is otherworldly enough to work as a bedside lamp, its shape and name evoking a lunar experience. Klabin was interested in his designs cocooning and promoting wellbeing, which its illuminated curves seem to do, too. The shape isn’t static, however. Klabin was also keen on innovation, and the single plastic tubing that forms the body of the lamp moves to create different shapes (even the legs are adjustable), and it arrives completely flat-packed in a cardboard box – pretty revolutionary for its time.
Sadly Klabin died in a car crash in 2000, aged just 48, but his legacy is the now-popular thought that “design must be accessible by the greatest majority among us… With the Eclipse lamp I surpassed the trauma of expensive design.” At €98, the lamp is indeed accessible and trauma-free.