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Angle poise
December 23, 2011 8:17 AM   Subscribe

The story of the modern desk lamp in four parts by hipstomp

Part 1: Its Invention was Based on British Car Suspensions
Part 2: Piggybacking Across the North Sea with Sewing Machines
Part 3: The Anglepoise Grows (Literally)
Part 4: Pixar and Luxo Jr
posted by infini (15 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
The new one is much better.
posted by The Bellman at 8:35 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


That is because you crazy.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:36 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


A Giant Anglepoise, you say. *raises eyebrow* For £2280?!
posted by dhartung at 9:13 AM on December 23, 2011


Me and my Tizio feel that the desk lamp described in the article does not substantially meet the definition for "modern". Ubiquitous contemporary desk lamp? OK.

I tried telling the Tizio that being around since '72 doesn't exactly make it modern either, but it wouldn't have it.
posted by LionIndex at 9:45 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Counterweights do seem superior to springs over the long term.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:29 AM on December 23, 2011


"Modern" can refer, particularly in the spheres of art and design, to a period from 1890 to WW2. Your Tizio is possibly postmodern.

The Bestlite was instrumental in defeating the Nazis and is gorgeous and gets my vote, accordingly.
posted by tigrefacile at 10:48 AM on December 23, 2011


And then I went back to working on the lamp, and wondered what the lamp would look like as a baby. I scaled different parts of it down: the springs are the same diameter, but they're much shorter. [from infini's fourth link]

If I were a designer dealing with an established physical product which was losing market share, and which could be at all construed as looking like a human or an animal, such as a coke or beer bottle, that is what I would do, make it into a baby version of itself.

Only I wouldn't do it by feel, except retrospectively, I'd use the mathematical algorithms which have been developed that can take the outline of a skull of any age and move it backward and forward along its development curves-- and there are apparently algorithms that can devolve it (and evolve it, presumably)-- though I haven't seen this done as much with body shape.

The Tizio looks like a dangerous predatory insect to me, incidentally.
posted by jamjam at 11:30 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Modern" can refer, particularly in the spheres of art and design, to a period from 1890 to WW2. Your Tizio is possibly postmodern.

My comment was partially tongue-in-cheek, since the meaning of "modern" is fairly nebulous, enough so that calling something modern almost always requires additional qualifiers to actually understand the meaning. In fact, my architectural history classes treated the modern period as anything from about 1700 to present day. After WWII, modern loses its design meaning of "contemporary", and just becomes another extant style.

However, I would argue that the Tizio, although designed in 1972, is part of the "modern" aesthetic rather than post-modern, and this is partially because as a technically related field, a lot of lighting design follows modernistic principles unless you're dealing with Philippe Starck or something. The Tizio is so clean that it makes the anglepoise look almost steampunk with all its springs and wires.
posted by LionIndex at 11:49 AM on December 23, 2011


But I still don't like the look of the Tizio and those counterweights are always a pain to balance.
posted by infini at 1:04 PM on December 23, 2011


I just want to say that I used to fucking love reading hipstomp's livejournal until he stopped using livejournal and then I lost track of him.

Also, this:
"At that time, most traditional artists were afraid of the computer. They did not realize that the computer was merely a different tool in the artist's kit but instead perceived it as a type of automation that might endanger their jobs. Luckily, this attitude changed dramatically in the early '80s with the use of personal computers in the home"

Uh, I'm pretty sure this attitude has never went away. Everyone is still terrified of computers. At least I've never met anyone who actually embraced computers and used them like proper tools instead of like some kind of frightening gollum-monster that must be appeased and/or exploited.
posted by bleep at 1:21 PM on December 23, 2011


He's been writing at Core77 regularly since at least 2008 if I recollect correctly
posted by infini at 1:24 PM on December 23, 2011


Me too, bleep -- really glad to come across Rain's writing again. He's one talented cat.
posted by bokane at 2:15 PM on December 23, 2011


But I still don't like the look of the Tizio and those counterweights are always a pain to balance.

Yeah, mine's a little off, but I got it for free. Mine's so old though that I have to go to an auto supply store to get the halogen headlamp bulb that it requires.
posted by LionIndex at 2:49 PM on December 23, 2011


I want to be an anglepoise lamp.
posted by jeudi at 9:46 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have enjoyed this surreal little thread, its like a quiet conversation in a side table in the back of the bar during a loud and noisy party.
posted by infini at 11:24 PM on December 23, 2011


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