Main Project Inspiration 2020: Desk/Table Lamp


For this course’s Main Project, I would like to create something with regular functional use. My current room in graduate housing only has one oddly-positioned overhead light, so even with an additional off-the-shelf lamp, in the evenings I’ve been finding that it’s functionally impossible to get any non-computer work (paperwork, reading. etc.) done within my room. I view this as an opportunity to create a powerful desk/table lamp to help address this issue.

Initial Vision – Functionality

My main functional goal is to create a table lamp for the central computer desk in my room, that is sufficiently bright that I can replace the off-the-shelf lamp plugged in at the end of my room and comfortably get non-computer work done within my room in the evenings. A secondary goal for this is that I would like it to be nigh indestructible, but as a practical metric: if it falls off my desk it isn’t instantly destroyed and that I can move it to another property in Boulder without worrying about damage when my lease ends.

Initial Vision – Aesthetic

Aside from the weird “Healing Property” pseudoscience that surrounds Himalayan salt lamps, I really like the specific hue of light from them, and hope to emulate the same hue within my own table lamp to contribute a coziness to whatever room I place my lamp within.

Figure 1. Himalayan salt lamps have a cozy, warm hue that I seek to emulate with my table lamp’s lighting element, or translucent filter [1].


When considering the form of my table lamp project, my initial inspiration was to create a real-world counterpart to Minecraft’s torches, and I soon found that it already exists as an off-the-shelf product [2]. I do intend to scale up the lamp and I don’t need the wall-mounting functionality. I don’t intend to add much intricate decoration to my main project beyond the clean. minimalist aesthetic of a simple geometric prism for the lamp’s form.


Figure 2. Initial inspiration [2] of aesthetic form for my main project, that I will likely scale up

Another option for my main project aesthetic would be to limit the coloration of the lamp to white, silver, and black in an attempt to adhere to a futuristic lamp aesthetic, though I fear it may clash with the warm hue of lighting that I seek to emulate from salt lamps.


Finally, if I wish to add more decoration to my lamp’s main form, I could try to recreate Ted Nasmith’s artistic interpretation of Oldtown’s Hightower from the Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) universe. I would likely try to create the central spire shown below as a nonagonal prism. I would add more decoration to the top of my lamp, to mimic the wrought-iron cage surrounding the beacon’s flame.


Figure 3. The center spire of this particular artist’s [3] interpretation of Oldtown’s Hightower is a possible form to follow when creating my table lamp. Accordingly, my table lamp’s main form would resemble a tall, nonagonal prism

Image and Inspiration Citations


[1] “Salt Lamps”. Bornstate Food Company. Accessed 18 February 2020 from


[2] “Original Minecraft Light-Up Torch LED Minecraft Lamp Hand Held or Wall Mount”. Ebay. Accessed 18 February 2020 from


[3] “The Hightower at Oldtown”. Accessed 18 February 2020 from


Previous Post
Final Project Inspiration: Kinetic Sculpture
Next Post
Aesthetic Exploration, ‘Conjunction’

4 Comments. Leave new

  • Benjamin Robles
    February 21, 2020 11:20 am

    Hey Justin,

    I like your idea! Your two aesthetics are definitely conflicting. As I understand, one of your aesthetics is a minimalist (sort of like MineCraft). And the other a more complex and intricate Game of Thrones. It seems like you will have to choose between the two. The thing that is common to both is the warm light aesthetic. This is a really cool aesthetic (I used it in my UpCycle proect). Excited to see your progress!


    • Justin Engbrecht
      February 24, 2020 12:40 pm

      Hey Ben!

      Yeah I will definitely have to decide moving forward if I want to pursue the futuristic design, which I will likely keep to minimalist geometric shapes and decoration, or the Hightower replica, which I will make taller and add intricate decoration. I will try to think of other aesthetic alternatives as well, and hopefully after this week’s post I’ll have a better idea about how I wish to proceed.

  • I like this idea. I do use salt rock lamps at home because I also like the hue and aesthetic. I don’t play Minecraft, but I do see how the torch has that aesthetic. What materials would you use? How big will it be? Will it hang or stand on the desk? I also like the GoT Hightower aesthetic. It may be possible to incorporate more details when going for the Hightower aesthetic, however either idea sounds interesting. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    • Justin Engbrecht
      February 24, 2020 12:29 pm

      Hey Daniel! I was thinking the lamp would be anywhere from two feet to a meter in height. At this point, I’m thinking I might be able to laser cut and stack cardboard for the base, but if so I would add more to the aesthetics with paint and other materials. I will likely find an LED light and add a translucent, warm-hue, cover above it to create my desired lighting. I definitely want it to freely sit on my desk, and to keep it stable I might try to make it bottom-heavy somehow.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.