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Industrial Design Finalist 2016/August de Wet

The relationship between light and concrete is the basis of ‘BEAM’...


The concrete used for the construction of the Eddystone lighthouse in 1793 catapulted the use of the material into its commercial form as we know it today. This relationship between light and concrete is the basis of ‘BEAM’.

Conceived as a beam of light that cuts through a solid concrete mass, the design mimics the form and directional light of a lighthouse yet it does away with a visible light source. This allows one to look into the beam and perceive the hollowed out interior space of the concrete where the texture and colour of the material provide a unique tactile visual experience.

The concrete shapes the light and the light in turn shapes the concrete, creating an interrelation between the two. It is, in essence, a meditation on the intrinsic qualities of concrete (heavy, solid, impermeable) and light (ephemeral, intangible, magical) fused into one object.

A conical void is subtracted from an upright cylindrical form to generate the form of a beam of light. This is achieved by moulding the concrete around a solid cone that intersects the cylindrical mould. The interior surface of this void is illuminated from below with a hidden light source that bounces outwards to create a secondary horizontal beam.

This light can be used indoors as a table or floor lamp and outdoors as a garden lamp or bollard. The floor lamp will also be able to rotate the concrete cylinder to face different directions.


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