Aesthetic Exploration and Different Ideas – Brutalist Lamp

The aesthetic that I will be using for my final project is Brutalism through an interior design standpoint. Brutalism utilizes simple block shapes and exposed concrete to portray an intense feel when viewing the buildings. From personal experience I have seen lots of Brutalism in cities like Prague, Berlin, and New York City. I find it very interesting from a historical and visual perspective and want to explore it more for my final project. A certain brutalist building I saw myself was the TV tower in Prague, Czech Republic. 

 I plan to utilize the concrete and sharp edges in my design of a brutalist lamp. I will lay concrete, break down major components, and expose rebar in my design. In addition, I plan to run PVC through the concrete mold so I can run the necessary wires to power my light. My plan is to incorporate a new aspect of “warmth” and “light” to a rather gray and dark aesthetic. I will do this by using a warm and modern light tone to offer warmth to the room the lamp will be in. 

If I had to choose different aesthetics or aspects of my project I would go down two different paths. Initially, I think changing the material would be effective as I could go for a more woody-cabin look for my piece. I was thinking I could carve a skinny piece of wood and put the light at the center of the piece. This would involve a lot of woodworking and carving however it could yield a phenomenal piece. In addition, I was thinking of changing the light bulb from a warm-homey feel to a bright LED set up. Although I’m confident I would not actually do this idea, I think it could appeal to many modern house owners. 


Frankly, I think that the LED does look very cool with respect to the concrete pillars. However, it would be very difficult to implement this design within the budget of the project. After writing out a mind map for combining these aesthetics I came up with a new potential solution. I could stick with my initial design idea as shown below…

but instead of utilizing the warm light I could use a beam LED light bar. Now this would take some more thinking on how I could actually have the light passing through both concrete surfaces. However, after intensive brainstorming I have come to the conclusion that I will be utilizing one of the two light fixtures mentioned above. 




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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Adlai White
    April 1, 2024 6:44 pm

    Hi Alex, I love the idea. While I think a brighter or more artificial lighting would help fit the brutalist aesthetic I really like your idea of a warmer light. I was curious as to what your plan would be fore the electrical wiring and components. I was also curious what type of cement you would be working with and if any forms or shaped could help simplify the process and/or reduce weight.

    • Alex Reynolds
      May 7, 2024 3:43 pm

      Hi there!
      For the cement I want to use a sand mix to ensure I dont have a rocky piece!

  • Garrett Miller
    March 10, 2024 9:21 pm

    Hello Alex! I think this is a great idea! It reminds me of Eastern Europe and the iron curtain. I think it will be a great piece in any home and look sick. I think it would be cool if you could plan for some of the cement to decay over time to add to the character and idea of a decaying lamp. How heavy do you think this would be? Good luck with it!

  • Jadin Zaccagnino
    March 10, 2024 11:09 am

    Alex, I’m looking forward to how this turns out! A brutalist lamp like this would make an excellent conversation starter, especially when you make it yourself. I think your main design idea that you’ve pictured is also the coolest example of the brutalist aesthetic that I’ve seen; the nonuniformity of the concrete portion pleases my eye. Given this idea, I do have a suggestion regarding its construction; if you first cast two rectangular prisms connected by the four pieces of rebar in a simple wooden mold, it should be way easier to make and attach a form out of plastic film or a similar flexible material in order to create the “flowing” concrete in the middle.

    • Alex Reynolds
      May 7, 2024 3:42 pm

      Jadin thank you for your words
      I really appreciate your thought about the individual rebar structures and will explore it.


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