here’s one I made earlier :: cutting corners

Katie | August 21, 2013

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

The London Design Festival starts in just over three weeks (eeek!), so it’s time to start talking about some of the amazing design that we can expect to find there. First up, I spoke to Berlin-based Swedish designer and architect Björn Andersson to find out how he designed and made his amazing “Cutting Corners” lights, which he will be exhibiting at Tent London.

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

Bjorn says, “The starting point for the design process was when I noticed reoccurring triangular shapes and interesting shadows when I was playing with some folded sheets of paper. I also noticed that the triangles created very interesting corners and edges when looking at the models from the inside.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“Inserting mini LED:s into these small paper models got me excited about developing this into a series of lights.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“I worked on a few options and ended up simplifying the concept and clarifying the idea: simply cutting a corner off a box and letting the cut surface light up both on the chipped cube and on the left over triangle.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“At the same time, I was experimenting with the quality of light using an old piece of industrial equipment from a chemistry lab. It had an opening perfect for experimenting with different levels of transparency and different types of acrylic, plexi glass and ricepaper. I discovered that candle light filtered through rice paper was the quality of light I wanted to replicate. I also wanted the beautiful effect of the indirect light falling on the wall behind.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“In a series of mini paper models, the two ideas finally came together. I put the leftover triangles from the chipped cube on a stand.”

Bjorn Andersson Cutting Corners

“I continued studying effect of different materials on the light using paper models – some white and matt and some shiny.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“In collaboration with a metal artist (Gobi) in Kreuzberg, Berlin, I started developing full size prototypes in stainless steel.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“The prototypes were hand-welded and created with the highest precision.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“Finally after deciding which plexi-glass thickness and tone best replicated the light I was aiming for a series of triangles were cut out and mitre joined to the objects.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“The pendant had a beautiful surface and I really wanted to keep the material exposed. Just treated with a brush. The inside, we powder-coated white to get the right effect with the light. We also decided to powder coat the box with the chipped corner – it gives it a certain quality of abstraction which I like very much.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

This image shows three of the finished prototypes stacked on top of each other.

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

Bjorn says, “We were very happy with the even and smooth light in the finished prototypes.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“The Triangle lamp is made from the leftover corner cut from the light box – it glows with a mysterious light that creates a unique mood and is perfect on a coffee table or in any office.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“The second version of the light box comes in brushed exposed stainless steel.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“The Folded Lamp is a direct interpretation of the initial folding games at the beginning of the design process. It works perfectly as a pendant.”

Bjorn Andersson Studio Cutting Corners

“One of my favourites.. or two of my favourites… are The Twins. These floor lamps come in two versions. One with the light facing the observer and one turned away generating a indirect and smooth mood light. They brighten up a dark corner of a room. With different heights the composition of the two lamps works perfectly as a pair.”

Cutting Corners Björn Andersson Studio

Further reading for the especially geeky:

honesty box ad

Further Reading for the Especially Geeky ::

Founding Editor – Katie Treggiden

Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.

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  • Won’t the dye eventually lose its colour over time, or if left in sunlight or put in the dishwasher?

    • The higher the concentration of dye in the solution, the less colour is lost. There seems to be a point at which the moisture is fully absorbed back into the air, leaving the particles of dye in the ceramic body unable to move and so the colour/ pattern is fixed

      Sunlight doesn’t seem to affect the colour; I had a few test pieces sat on the window sill in direct sunlight with a line of tape on them to see if sunlight did anything and nothing happened. The test was conducted over the few months so am not sure about longer term exposure

      The pieces are decorative so wouldn’t need to be put in the dishwater but I did test them, one with a sealant on and one without, and there wasn’t any change – although I left some tiled pieces I made in the rain and the dye moved around again and became very vibrant

      There is lot of science behind the process, most of which I don’t fully understand and sometimes doesn’t make any sense – could talk about it for hours but I’ve tried to be concise!

  • Kuo

    this is such a cool process. did your friend emma come up with this on her own?? that’s incredible! also, i was watching the video while listening to “Goodnight, Travel Well” by the Killers, so the video was very dramatic for me haha

    • Thank you and yes – the process came from trying to dye everything, even the studio sink!

  • The technique is so pretty and natural. Thanks for sharing.

  • Fer

    Wow! I love your work. Congratulations!

  • Christine Lynn

    I like the watercolour effect on the pieces. They look very natural because they don’t look like they were painted. By using the dye to colour the pieces, is it safe to use the bowls and cups for dinnerware?

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