behind the design


Product:   Desk Lamp

Client:      Debenhams (launched in 2015 - £39.99)

Features: Solid white marble base, double layered head, cube shaped angle adjuster, brushed brass and pewter metal finishes, grey braided flex, E14 lamp.

A desk lamp which evolved from humble beginnings as a concept to target the success of directional task lamps at Debenhams and carry the on-trend style of the time: Mid-century Bohemian. This look combined classic mid-century detailing with hints of modernism fit into the styling that many high-street brands were seeking during this time.

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Products styled during the mid-century carry a unique and timeless look, which still appeals to the modern consumer today. JW has often been fascinated by the vast number of wonderfully styled products of this period.

Delving into the online archives of yesteryear, JW carried out in-depth research into all manner of mid-century designs to embrace this style and begin the design journey. The common use of cast brass metal, contrasting natural materials (like wood and marble), braided cables and perforated patterns were all key details collected in this process.

JW initial concept sketches started with oversized heads and fixed arms (like on a banker’s lamp), but settled into a more modern flow with nods to mid-century styling. The conceptual journey settled on a 'bullet' shaped head with an elbow arm, using a solid material base. A double layered opening on the lamp head was developed and perforated slots were added on the inner layer to create a unique selling feature. The base included the use of a contrasting material in the form of natural white marble - a common mid-century material and ideal for a base weight.

Mid-century designs historically included unique design details which carries the 'signature' of the designer or brand. JW decided to adopt a CUBE shaped elbow adjuster to allow Francis to stand-out from the rest. Grey braided cable and contrasting white inline switch and plug seemed fitting to finish the look.

At this stage, the prototype was fabricated to offer to the client. However, not all details were appreciated by the client and Francis lost his perforated slots and gained a directional 'pin' to the back of the head. Even with these subtle changes, Francis did tick the box on a modern twist mid-century desk feature.