minimalism of form and process

The original set of six lamps was created over just a few days - from concept and design thought fabrication and assembly. The process was an exercise in simple design choices and integrated manufacturing considerations. The design aimed to celebrated the materials used and to minimize the number of machine operations to make production as fast as possible.

The starting point for the design was to make a bedside lamp, ideal for reading with soft, indirect light. Using a simple geometry meant visual symmetry, and fewer part flips. The design started from the light socket and candle-style light bulb that would be used and grew directly outward from there. Iteration and prototyping were not a part of the process, it was about making decisions informed by experience and letting the result emerge organically.

The project had the advantage of the use of a Haas CNC lathe, a DMS 5-axis CNC wood router, and a Haas CNC mill. The amount of cutting time per part was reduced to the minimum, with only a couple minutes and one part flip required for the most complex parts. It was an interesting balance between spending time designing for optimized part production times, against just starting production faster. In the end, the entire concept, design and CAD/CAM process took under 10 hours.

Lots of information on the making of the first set of Plane lamps is available on Instructables. In the end, several batches were made, in both walnut and maple.