Thursday, 16 September 2010


The old town center of Bologna, with her narrow winding streets, city gates and overhanging porticos, at times feels tight and almost suffocating. Some locals say that the city pulls you in with its arms, like a mother gathering together her children. After 7:30, the shops close and draw down their graffiti-covered shutters. Walking the streets at this time you are, at the same time, enclosed by the city's streets but cut-off from its inner beauty. The real beauty of this city lies in its interiors and closed court yards. This is the beauty that is reserved for the privileged, or those who have well-positioned apartments (not me unfortunately).

On one such evening I peered into an open courtyard entrance and glimpsed this shape hanging (as a light fixture) from the Gothic lines of the ceiling.

As a large light fixture it didn't look out of place against the curved Gothic ceiling lines. Indeed the early cubists in Bohemia were heavily influenced by the geometric vaulted ceilings of the late Gothic period.

After staring at this Gothic entrance for a while, I decided to memorize the shapes and render them when I got home. After playing with the geometry it occurred to me to transform each of the protruding square pyramids into light bulbs (as shown below...)

It was in interesting exercise, but the results are not very original I'm afraid. I'm sure I have seen something similar at a design studio in Milan a few years back.

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