The cord that plugs it into the wall – an inconvenient-but-essential element in nearly any lamp or lighting fixture. Sometimes you can hide the power source by covering the wall sockets and snaking cords with furniture, or you can embrace the cord and make it into the core concept of the design. During the day the bright orange speaks for itself, and at night the rhythm of light passing through each layer reveals the single cord surrounding the whole lamp.
Craighton Berman clearly chose the latter path in crafting a simple frame around which a wound extension cord turns into the very visible outer structure of this object. While it is currently only a table lamp, one could equally well picture (as his drawings above demonstrate) other household lights along the same lines – suspended by third own strand of cable from the ceiling, standing tall around framework on the floor or hanging loosely from the wall.
Beneath the all-encompassing spiral of the bright orange extension cord visible on all sites lies a relatively simple and compact structure. Two slot-together pieces of cut-to-shape plastic hold the whole system up after they are interlocked. Grooves cut in their sides make for a consistent wrap of the attached cord and a single bulb sits simply at the center of the entire array.
“Coil reduces the domestic table lamp to the absolute minimum of defining elements. A single electrical cord coils around what appears to be an empty volume, defining the iconic form of a table lamp and ultimately powering a single light bulb.”
“The entire lamp is created exclusively from a 100 foot extension cord that has been wrapped around a laser-cut clear acrylic form. This simple transformation elevates the status of the humble extension cord to the realm of domestic design. Coil Lamp is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.”