Figural Lightshade Collection
Object design

In his 2016 “Before Theory” essay tracking emerging “trajectories of architectural experimentation”, Kyle Miller adeptly differentiates between shape and figure:

“[S]hape is defined as the silhouette of a solid primitive.  Circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles are shapes.  Figure is defined as an articulated shape with associations to something other than itself.  The outlines of objects such as ducks, baskets, crowns and hearts produce figures.  Shapes have names and figures have associations.”  

This series of handmade paper lightshades explores the relationship between shape and figure, and the figural associations that arise through minor variations in shape. 

Using the basic constraints of (primarily) equilateral triangle and square base shapes with (primarily) 30-60-90-degree sloped faces, these lightshades manage to evoke a wide range of associations with varying sociocultural connotations of class and status, from the derogatory dunce cap to the monarchic crown, from the primitive shelter gable to the gothic spire. 

To witness such rudimentary variations in formal composition produce such contrasting associations across the strata of class, one might begin to perceive this gradation fading into illusion, leaving behind form, and material, and light, and shadow.  

Additional custom iterations break from initial constraints in order to respond to contextual and functional concerns.  Please feel free to inquire for more information, including for custom orders.  

Kyle Miller, “Before Theory” in Teresa Stoppani (ed.), Giorgio Ponzo (ed.), George Themistokleous (ed.), This Thing Called Theory (New York, Routledge 2017): 45-54.  

Physical media: 140-lb. paper (hand-cut), LED uplighting

© Human Being Design 2022