Tak Cheung’s Lamp

“This is my thesis project at Parsons School of Design,” Tak Cheung said. “Titled Light-34, it’s a light sculpture that adjusts to its environment. This is a series of investigations. It’s not about the light itself but a system of movements. It works as a directional and an ambient light source. The surface is treated, so two sides are brighter than the other two, and when it rotates and morphs you can see the different intensities. It is made from one sheet of paper, and the pattern itself can be tessellated.”

PM: I think this is a cool-looking object.
Because someone will want to move it around, I would take it a long way away from a Noguchi paper lamp—really work with materials and structures and whatever electrical stuff there is that would allow you to play with it. Otherwise, it would be a failure. It could look fine in any one position, but I’d make it superfunctional. I think the aesthetics are done. It’s a beautiful piece.

LSB: It looks really good, but it also has to work. It’s kind of a playful and serious object at the same time. It conveys two extremes, and they come together. It invites you to play with it.

ND: It could work with Nomax, which is a nylon product that takes excessive heat well, up to 450-500 degrees. They build astronauts’ suits and things like that out of it. Racecar drivers wear Nomax suits.

JM: I think it’s a beautiful lamp. One thing, though, is that it is showing a little wear on the areas that it rests on. You would need to work that out.

RF: Is this something that has wires that go in between all the little modules?

TC: It’s like Christmas tree lighting, so yeah, there’s wire going through it, but the structure itself is just paper.

RF: But could it be designed so you didn’t have wire? So that there were wires inside and they worked off some different mechanism so you didn’t have to have mechanical things going through those points?

TC: Ah, yes.

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