Take a complete cube, remove two sides and break the remaining four into a pair of perpendicular surfaces … and voila, you have yourself a nifty adjustable light box. Of course, those things are easier to explain after the difficult design work has been done.
The LichtKiste from German creator Clemens Tiss is as simple as it sounds, with a power cord and bulb to complete the project. The top piece doubles nicely as a side table; tucking in the sides makes for a handy shelving area as well. The way the top can be adjusted by swinging it from side to side makes it even more adaptable to a variety of uses.
A ‘stack light’ variant to the core ‘light box’ involves a similar subtractive process with a little additional complexity. Multiple skinnier volumes are stacked to create a floor lamp that illuminates from multiple angles, either targeting the light on a specific focal point or just lighting up a corner of the room.
And just to round things out – one can apply the same simple design principles to a flexible shelving unit system, a child’s desk and any number of other products with multiple uses. The system is mostly variations on the same basic shapes and lines, and you can make changes to how these objects are used yourself just by turning them on their sides.
Tiss doesn’t provide much information on his process but is, presumably, able to produce these objects quickly and easily since they’re all so similar, simply making changes to the dimensions of certain elements and adding a light and/or a power cable here and there as needed.
The designer’s choice to present his many results in a series of rows and columns is key to communicating the point as well: that anything is possible with some imagination.