A decision to move houses is mostly (and hopefully) determined by visions of the anticipated future. So was mine. But when I sorted and sighted old forgotten documents I realized my move became at the same time a discourse with my past. Some of my finds I want to share with you here.
The following lamps I designed, made and installed in spring 1996 for a sport-rehab hospital in Cologne. 150 years ago in this building the famous "Eau de Cologne" was produced. Lamp by lamp I try to show how I addressed to the architectural peculiarities I found there.
The "wing lamp" (click left photo to enlarge) was installed in the reception areas.
Wing shaped glass diffusers quote the structure of the ceiling. The hovering installation and the light flow accent the barrel vault and at the same time reduce its gravity.
The "shield lamp" (click left photo to enlarge) was the vertical correspondence to the above wing lamp. I designed it for the several corridors in the building.
This lamp reflects the barrel vault by its archaic appearance and the echelon of the vertical light bars underlines the spatial depth of the gangways.
The "cuboid lamp" (click left photo to enlarge) was installed in the roomy workout and gym areas.
The technical shape of this lamp corresponds with the modern character of the ambiance arousing by the mechanical devices.
The simple cuboidal form of the cuboid lamp reappears in the "slit lamp" (click left photo to enlarge) primarily used for the waiting areas.
Special reflectors inside the cube channel the light through the slits. The slit lamp was designed to illuminate the impressive girders and the ceiling sections they create.
The "tray lamp" (click left photo to enlarge) was designed for the administration areas and the surgery.
The corpus of this lamp disappears completely in the suspended ceiling and the glass diffuser covers the opening. The tray lamp was kind of a neutral element to integrate the above mentioned working areas subtly in the lighting concept.
This project was a personal milestone for me. Due to the enormous workload of making about 120 lamps I decided to do this kind of work full-time and since then I make my living from it.
Among the things I schlepped to Denmark when I moved houses was a big card board box full of magazines. In this box I recovered the very first report about a piece of furniture I made.
The feature came up in Feb. 1994 and was part of a series about local creative people in the meier magazine - the urban magazine for the Mannheim metropolitan area.
At that time I had built a little table for my living room and called it "Bra Board". This piece was inspired by tumblers/skipjacks:
The lower third of each corpus was filled with sand and steel so it stood up even when it was inclined more than 30 degrees to the side. The bottom edge was cut plain and capped so it did not swing in that direction. Finally a 1/2" glass plate was set in flush with the sculptures and secured the corporas balance in the longitudinal direction.
Due to its weight the board was not very practical when I was moving my furniture. But still I am touched by its uncommon statics and its futuristic sensuality.
Another project that I would call an early work was an outside installation of 1994 - please excuse the bad graphical material, but I did not keep records of this project as I was working as a mathematician at this time and did not make my living with artwork.
The Polaroid on the left side I took in the former chicken house where I welded the piece. It was an advertising sign for a fashion boutique named OXY in Heidelberg/Germany. But what came out was rather a sculpture than just a sign.
The sculpture was made of stainless steel and the central figure was composed of rotational corpora forming the graphical logo legible from any side. The figure itself stood on a cantilever tongue.
The pipe you see behind the sculpture was in fact a half pipe containing a white neon lamp. The mirror finished metal sheet at the wall side was bended parabolically and the lamp was placed exactly in the centre of the parabola. As centre beams reflect parallel in a parabola the sheet was blinding bright from the distance leading to a mystic silhouetted lettering.
Fortunately I found at least some contact prints of the piece set up.
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Max Longin is a German mathematician living and working in northern Denmark. He designed the float bed in 2004 and the stream chair in 2006. A blow-by-blow presentation of his products can be found on his website at www.max-longin.com. Feel free to contact him.