Main Project Inspirations – Brutalist Table Lamp

My personal aesthetic depends a lot on context. For example, my favorite art aesthetic is going to be different from my favorite architecture aesthetic, which is different from how I dress or decorate my room. A precise personal aesthetic is hard to define in my personal experience.

However, I tend to like aesthetics that were popular at one point in time, but have since faded into more obscurity or are no longer trendy. For example, I am fascinated by brutalist architecture because of its hostility and often bizarre qualities. Hard brutalism is also not very common these days. Brutalism is a type of minimalism defined extensive use of concrete and harsh geometric shapes. Examples of brutalism in Boulder include NCAR, WillVille as well as the engineering building. Many people consider brutalism ugly, but I like how monolithic and interesting the buildings look.

For my final project, I plan to build a brutalist desk lamp that has two articulating joints. It will have a concrete base with metal tubes and some sort of lampshade. This is a sketch of what I am thinking:

Brutalism is sort of in my comfort zone, as it is an aesthetic that used to be more popular than it is now (it is kind of retro in a way). I am excited to work with concrete and metal and am glad that I am once again making a functional item that I can actually use in my everyday life.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Michael Gray
    March 4, 2024 12:11 am

    I find your take on brutalism fascinating! I had never really considered using the words brutalism and comforting in the same sentence, but I think your project idea has some great potential due to its originality (especially for a time where, as you noted, brutalism is quite unpopular).
    How did you come to the idea of making a lamp?

    • I decided to make a table lamp since I have been meaning to get one for my room. I thought it would be better to build one myself instead.

  • Alexis Cisneros
    March 3, 2024 3:36 pm

    Hi Alex,

    I really like the your idea for your project. I too enjoy brutalist design. I think translating some of the architectural design features to a lamp design will turn out really well. I think you should add some images of the building you mentioned to give people a better idea of what you’re thinking. Have you seen any similar designs of what you’re trying to make? Overall, great ideas and I look forward to seeing your project progress!

    • I have not seen any similar designs to this one, I came up with it because I wanted to build something that imitated brutalist buildings at a small scale and I also happen to need a desk lamp.


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