27 Homemade Henningsen Lamps + 1 Average, 2011


Book and lamp

18.50 x 12.20 in

47.0 x 31.0 cm

Edition of 50

This work is signed and numbered.


About The Work

In 27 Homemade Henningsen Lamps (+ 1 Average Lamp) Simon Starling exposes aesthetics to mathematics in a whimsical project with cast-iron logic. Over the course of several years, Starling produced a number of homemade versions of one of Modernism’s most characteristic lamps, Poul Henningsen’s PH5. The original lamp consists of a series of overlapping metal shades that produce an elegant yet unmistakably period-looking light fixture. In twenty-seven versions of this design classic, assembled from elements found in junkshops and flea markets, including metal lampshades, and the occasional cooking pot lid or wok, Starling approximated the beauty and balance of the original lamp. As Starling himself has stated, “each Homemade Henningsen Lamp stands as a kind of retrospective prototype. As a group of related objects they are like a set of recurring ‘first thoughts’ for a much-celebrated lamp that already exists in mass production.”

At the end of the series, Starling decided to produce a lamp which would be the average of all the twenty- seven previous versions by generating a mean size and shape—an attempt to return to the mental image of the PH5 lamp that haunts the 27 improvised originals. The “average” version was generated by morphing images on computer which unified their often irregular shapes into a single 3D rendering which was then used to produce the wooden formers for spinning the various shades The deluxe version of this publication is accompanied by an Average Lamp both encased within a hexagonal wooden box.

Courtesy of Three Star Books

About Simon Starling

From The Magazine

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