Saturday, 27 November 2010

Platonic Forms (1): Lidded Box

Pavel Janák's Lidded Box (1911)

Plato's Forms are the set of archetypes representing the essential "thingness" of each kind of object in the real world. The various day to day objects in real life are mere shadows of the perfect Platonic Form that they represent. Each rabbit, human, fish, chair or box is defective in some way, either in design or execution. The greater the defect, the further the object is from its perfect Platonic Form.

For me, Czech Cubist designer and architect, Pavel Janák's Lidded Box (1911), is the closest thing to a Platonic Cubist lidded box. Any attempt to improve on this design seems futile, it simply is the Cubist Lidded Box.

Top view

Consisting of equilateral pyramids on a cuboid base, the box is white with black lines along each edge. This is reminiscent of a crystal, a motif that was popular at the beginning of the 20th century.


Janák's Lidded Box is produced by changing the natural horizontal and vertical surfaces into oblique ones. In this sense it represented the "abstraction of matter". Janák deliberately avoided verticals and horizontals which he associated with artists of the previous era.


Quality reproductions of Janák's Lidded Box can be purchased from the Modernista design store in Prague, Czech Republic.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Gloomy Sunday

The way it was always meant to be sung. By Diamanda Galás.


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Table #1

Computer renderings of my dining table design "Table #1" are presented below...




The supporting frame extends the angular cubist shape of the legs into an interconnected web which simultaneously underlines the profile of the table top (below).


The table top, in turn, follows an angular cubist layout which is designed to wrap slightly around each seated person.

Table #1 was inspired by the Czech painter Antonìn Procházka's Cubist armchair of 1919. Design studies of Procházka's armchair are shown below.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Lampada ad arco

Art or Science?

Recently the (CERN) Large Hadron Collider experiment, near Geneva, published results of an experiment where lead (Pb) atoms were smashed together at such high energies that they simulated conditions in the early universe. How early? Less than one second after the universe (as we know it) began. The so called "Big Bang".

The subsequent image produced by the enormous ALICE detector was stunning. It reminded me somehow of Giacomo Balla's wonderful futurist painting: Lampada ad Arco (1911). This inspired me to combine the image produced at CERN with my study for a ceiling lamp called Octacontagon.

Octacontagon's Big Bang

We Will Kill the Moonlight!

Balla's painting can be seen below. The date shown on the top left corner (1909) refers to the date of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's declaration Uccidiamo il chiaro di luna! which inspired this painting.

Giacomo Balla, Lampada Ad Arco (1911)

Marinetti published Uccidiamo il chiaro di luna! as a declaration of war against 'old Europe' who, at the time, were critical of the Futurist movement.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Update: Ceiling Light #1

Below are some new renderings of my Ceiling Light #1 design...


I have modified the design slightly. The mounting plate is more elaborate and fits better with view of the lights when looking up from beneath.

The cap screws that attach the shade mounts are smaller and use the same material as the shade mounts. This de-emphasizes the mounting screws whereas the previous design highlighted them.


Meanwhile a mold has been made for the glass shades, I am hoping to have four copies ready to start building a prototype within the next few weeks.