Dezeen Magazine

Metal lamp on table

David Taylor forms "the world's most anonymous material" into aluminium lighting

Designer David Taylor has created Knuckle, a duo of lighting designs for Swedish furniture brand Hem that are characterised by their crimped corners made by forcibly bending square aluminium tubing.

The Knuckle collection – which has been shortlisted in Dezeen Awards 2023's furniture design category – consists of a table lamp and a linear chandelier.

Metal lamp on table by chair
The lamps aim to provide both mood and task lighting

Despite their differing sizes and shapes, the two lights are united by their distinctive composition that features crimped square metal pipes.

Bends were made in the metal tubing not by cutting and welding the pieces together, but by bending them with a powerful press.

Metal chandelier above dining table
The chandelier has eight spherical bulbs

"No two bends in the Knuckle series are alike," the studio said. "Coercing metal into a form that it is specifically designed to resist is challenging at best."

"The payoff is a streamlined process of forming aluminium tubing without the need to weld corners and angles."

The aluminium used in the pieces contains 73 per cent recycled content, according to Taylor, whose goal is to eventually increase this to 100 per cent.

Conventionally, this type of tubing is used in the construction of shelving, storage, window frames, door frames and fencing.

Metal table lamp on white backdrop
Both lamps are made from aluminium

"Square aluminium piping is a ubiquitous construction material," Taylor told Dezeen.

"It is standardised in size, it has a number of alloys for given applications, it's light, strong, cheap, available everywhere and infinitely recyclable with great green credentials," he added.

"Aluminium pipe could possibly be the world's most anonymous material but that doesn't mean you can't make outstanding work from it."

Metal chandelier on white background
Crimped corners add visual interest

Taylor applied a brushed effect to the metal's surface to soften the sharp corners and flat planes, an effect that is furthered by their frosted, globe-shaped bulbs.

The table lamp has one orb-like bulb and the chandelier has eight, all of which were designed to emit a warm, soft glow that would contrast their industrial bodies.

Detail of curved metal tube
The bends are deceptively challenging to form

"We wanted an object that was strong and confident enough to tell its own story regardless of its surroundings," Taylor said.

"Knuckle is built to the highest quality specs using the best material available with an ambition to become a sought-after example of early 21st-century design for the antique buffs of the 22nd century."

Other inventive lighting published on Dezeen include a lamp shade made from mushroom mycelium by Myceen and a solar-powered lamp by Sunne that converts sunlight into mood lighting.

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