abstract

Illustris, darkness lit is a project that observes and lights a forgotten vernacular architecture element.

The illustris lamp is the first and only romanian architectural translation to hold light.

The design inspiration and source of this sculptural light source is found in the vertical sculpted wooden porch columns found in vernacular houses.

By simplifying the processes and sculptural qualities into a repetitive volume, with the rhombus at its inception, the geometry becomes available for vertical repetition.
 

Projecting light from and onto the traditional lifestyle, it can be argued that the space destined for privacy, family and safety has been lit.

The wood block

Finding the right wood and picking out the best out of the batch has always been the first key task. This lamps’ history has proven that the current wood source is of good grain quality, while keeping to ecological sustainable standards. The wood blocks are carefully dried and finished to a smooth precious surface. They are then cut to the desired size and stored at a constant 21 degrees, before entering the individual manufacturing process.

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The cuts

In order for the light to escape the wooden block, angled cuts had to be made. This operation is a careful collaboration between a young eye and a careful hand, on a specially designed cutting installation device.

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The edges of the eye

Before leaving the lamp through each of the apertures, the light cuts accross two sharp edges. Whether light exits the lamp or enters the volume during daytime, it must pass through this narrow and unpredictable threshold.

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The exterior space

Surrounded by a playful infinite sculptural sequence of protruding bud-like wooden extremities, the light is carefully carried upwards.

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The interior space

Drilling the hole takes place by using a mechanical lathe machine. The speed at which the lathe operates has been set so that the resulted interior surface is slightly rough. By involving light alongside wood, the lamp has been treated as a double space. The interior space will remind of the roughness and crudeness of the woods’ natural state as well as the delicate and raw nature of the vernacular romanian spirit.

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The eye

Following the technical process of removing diagonal edge prisms from the block of wood, the interior space becomes connected to the exterior space through an eye shaped aperture. These apertures are found accross the entire lenght of the lamps’ body.

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The angled surfaces

As the light is turned on, the angled surfaces found above and below each eye-aperture become small welcoming stages where one can see the light caressing the wood surface until it jumps off of the lamp.

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The finish

Careful mechanical and manual sanding operations of each straight and angled surface take the lamp manufacturing processes to the final stage of visual inspection. And the light turns on.

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