Light it up.

This project started a few years ago. I was working late on a project at Gravitytank and I went up on the roof to take a break. I am not sure what I was thinking about at the time (probably hot sauce or baby diapers or something similar), but I had a sort of vision of a glowing ball of light suspended in a ring.

In my mind, it would be able to pivot 3600 spherically while glowing and projecting a beam. It was a really cool image, and I went back to the shop and sketched it out, and went back to work. Over the next few days, I sought out some help from my coworker Seth M. and a few others and ordered some stuff and tried to make it. I got pretty close. I refined that a bit further, and put it in the Guerilla Truck Show. I organized a show called Nights&Weekends made up of my coworkers and the projects they did outside of work. These are some talented people, and the show was cool. Then it sat at home getting beat up and spilled on and I haven’t gotten back to it until I was presented with an opportunity to use it in a class as a project. And here we are.

 Let’s talk design. This lamp is about magic. The magic of interface and the magic technology can provide. I am fond of telling people, "There is no magic," but that refers to process and what you can do, not to the pleasure of something that is not immediately self evident.  What I want to create is a beautiful object that functions well, sure, but I want it to be a pleasure to use. I want you to want to use it. I just have to figure out how to get there. 

 First, I need to refine some shapes and think about the function. Right now, I know that the pole needs to be refined further. Also, the ball is too heavy (a solid 3” acrylic ball when it should really be hollow and probably glass) so the base is wrong- too heavy, too tall, and too narrow. There is also some material exploration to do. I like the honesty of material without an applied finish. In some cases it is required. For example the vertical adjustment works because the friction between brass and stainless steel is sufficient to hold the lamp in place. In the lateral adjustment, the friction is a hindrance. Also, the base is a huge piece of chrome-molly steel so rust will happen. Functionally, and thinking about the pole, I never built a charger for it. Right now, if I want to charge the batteries, I have to disassemble it. That was a product of the timeline, but it needs to be addressed. It may end up in the base, but maybe not. I definitely need to think through how it goes in and out of the charger and how it is presented to the user. I also want to see what I can do with the light. Temperature and intensity are still up in the air. That’s a lot to do, and I am sure it isn’t all the minutia that will find it’s way into the final product. The only thing to do now is get started.