Designs for the Better World

Akebono Room Lamp Concepts

This set of concepts was actually more than 2 years old. I decided to make a post of it before it’s buried under other new ideas.

Presentation PDF

Akebono Lamp Set Concept Introduction

“Makurano-Soshi” is an essay written by Sei-Shonagon, a little more than 1,000 years ago in Japan. The simple and succinct description of it impresses us with its deeply analyzed beauty in a daily life. The essay is referred to as one of the jewels of literature written in the Heian Period. It is so popular that almost all the Japanese people know it and are expected to learn it by heart, the first chart of the essay at school. Therefore, most of Japanese adults still remember at least the first few sentences.

This set of room lamps, “Akebono” has the concept of the beauty of the four seasons described by the writer of Makurano-Soshi.

“Akebono” or dawn in spring
“Yoru” or night in summer
“Yugure” or evening in autumn
“Tsutomete” or early morning in winter

Each of the beauty is crisply depicted with very impressive items found only in the season. There are four lamps with the same concepts in this set. The very reason of choosing these concepts is to bring what is happening outside into the house and to enable those most beautiful moments to be everlasting.
Essentially I tried to bring back:

  • the subtle feeling of happiness that is rarely felt in busy modern daily lives
  • the comfort you can get after long patience
  • Those feelings have long disappeared thanks to technologies that instantly satisfy out needs. I would be delighted if I could experience the same feeling by using the lamps.

    “Akebono” floor lamp

    Mountain Skyline at sunrise in Spring

    春は、あけぼの。やうやう白くなりゆく山ぎは 少し明りて紫だちたる雲の細くたなびきたる。
    “In spring, the dawn with mountain skylines gradually whitening along with thin lines of purple clouds floating in the sky.”

    The mountain rim is expressed by the curved frame. It is lit by a gentle light behind it, just like a mountain at sunrise. In order to see the real view of this, you have to patiently wait for the sun rise in the cold.
    It is a floor lamp used against or close to a wall. The light is thrown towards the wall behind it, so you can see the wall lit upwards, with the shade of a curved body. By using a few of this lamp put side by side, you can enjoy a panoramic view of mountains.

    “Yoru” lamp stand

    Full Moon on a Lake in Summer

    夏は、夜。月の頃はさらなり。
    “In summer, the night. Needless to say a full moonlit night.”

    As can be easily imagined, this represents the moon. Seen from right in front of it, it looks just like the crescent, but you can also see “earthshine”, which is sunlight reflected from the earth, causing the dark side of the crescent dimly visible. It is also known as “the old moon in the new moon’s arms” and this bright and dark combination of the lights makes the moon even more beautiful.
    This dark side of the lamp is made slightly transparent so that it lights up very dimly just like the earthshine. In the modern world it is rare to take time looking up at the moon, much less this dimly lit part of it, but in ancient Japan, it must have been very often watched and fully enjoyed. This lamp brings the precious evening moment to your room.

    “Yugure” floor lamp

    Autumn sunset melting into the earth

    秋は、夕暮。夕日のさして、山の端(は)いと近うなりたるに
    “In autumn, the evening of a sinking sun approaching very close to mountain lines.”

    The sunset in autumn is as red as the sun can be. When it approaches the horizon, it looks like the sun is melting into the earth. With its shape like a half melting ball, this lamp embodies the beauty of the sunset at the same moment. The lamp shade is made of opaque acrylic, but towards the bottom, it gradually becomes transparent. With this shade, the light reaches far longer around the lamp than towards above, so when the lamp is lit, it looks as if the shining ball is sinking into the floor, leaving the floor around brightly lit. The other secret of this brightness is the curved cylinder shaped mirror under the light bulb in the shade, which efficiently reflects the light from the light bulb and throws back towards sides.

    “Tsutomete” lamps

    Charcoal Fire Warmth in early winter morning

    冬は、つとめて。雪の降りたるはいふべきにもあらず。霜のいと白きも、またさらでも、いと寒きに、火など急ぎ熾して、炭もて渡るも、いとつきづきし。
    “In winter, the early morning. Falling snow makes us speechless. It perfectly fits this season to see a whitest frost, or people hastening to carry charcoals with freshly built fires in the braziers.”

    A brazier, which was widely used in ancient Japan in winter to warm up a room, has charcoals on it. The brightly but gently burning red and orange charcoal was the only warmth back then. The atmosphere it creates can never felt by a modern heater that instantly heats up to the temperature you adjust.
    This lamp revives the reddish orange light just like a charcoal does: clumsily tinted in a corner as if it finally caught fire.

    2 responses

    1. congratulations, very clever!

      August 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    2. Reblogged this on UNLIMITED and commented:
      Un concetto di lampada ispirato alle stagioni ed alla natura, molto affascinante!

      August 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm

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