Final Project Report: Brutalist Lamp Part 1

When designing my Brutalist Lamp I had many inspirations both from previous design and external factors. The concept of making a concrete lamp is rather new, however, I found lots of inspiration from brutalist interior designers, buildings, and other lamp designers. One of the major inspirations with respect to previous lamp designs is the one shown below. 

Many people have experimented with concrete lamp design and I found it rather exciting that each concrete lamp you design will be different in some unique way. 


When initially thinking of lamp design, I wanted to incorporate the true nature of Brutalism within the structure. That being, exposed rebar, decaying concrete, and sharp exterior edges. I knew this would be difficult because I would have to design an intricate sand cast to ensure the concrete doesnt follow a smooth pattern. 

Here you can see a little bit of the interior design I am shooting for with my lamp. I want the lamp to be a source of warmth within the often cold walls of concrete that Brutalism utilizes. I think my lamp will belong in a little pocket of space like the lamps shown above. However, I also want my lamp to resonate with more dark architecture like shown below. 

Here you can see very sharp edges and dark concrete. This is where I got the inspiration to create the “decaying” component of my lamp. Brutalism is a type of architecture that peaked during the Soviet Union Regime and is often correlated with being stuck behind the Iron Curtain. Hence, there are many Brutalist buildings in Eastern Europe that are decaying with time. This is fascinating to me because it grows the aesthetic to a further extent, I hope to capture this in my lamp. 

With respect to more technical specifications, I want to ensure that my concrete lamp will not weigh a ton. Therefore, I did some research and basic calculations and was able to determine that to ensure my lamp is under 150 lbs I would need a 26” tall light with an 8” x 8” base. These are strict requirements because I would struggle to move my lamp to the expo and I want to have this lamp with me for the rest of my life. Here you can see some very rough initial sketches for my concrete form, this form will yield my final geometry. 

I also want to ensure that the light I will utilize will provide a warm tone to the concrete edges. I really like that my project has the ability to shed the warm aspects of brutalism along with the cold edges it often has. 

To begin this design process, I must create the wooden frame. This is debatably the most important part of my project because it keeps smooth interior edges for the concrete and also ensures my dimensions are true. Also, the final product will involve me destroying this wooden form, leaving the full concrete structure exposed. In addition, I will be laying concrete all throughout the rebar structure and I will pull out all of the sand to reveal my final product. Below you can see my initial design before the concrete pour. 


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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Blake Wilson
    April 30, 2024 4:59 pm

    Alex, I can’t wait to see the final reveal tomorrow. I have been following this project throughout the semester because I think you have a really unique artistic vision. I’m sure you already finished the pour by the time you read this. If not consider removing the lightbulb while you pour so you don’t accidently break it. I’m sure you already thought of this though. Again congrats on the really cool idea.

    • Alex Reynolds
      May 7, 2024 3:33 pm

      Thank you very much! The pour turned out great and I was sure to remove the bulb!

  • Hey Alex, your project concept looks pretty unique & well-articulated and am pretty excited for the artifact! The incorporation of exposed rebar, decaying concrete, and sharp edges aligns perfectly with the ethos of brutalism, capturing the essence of this architectural style in your lamp design. The intention to create a unique and textured concrete lamp that resonates with warmth amidst the starkness of concrete environments is intriguing and adds depth to the project. The technical specifications you’ve outlined, such as the size and weight constraints, demonstrate thoughtful planning and consideration for practical aspects of the lamp’s construction and future use. Really looking forward for the finish product in the expo.

    • Alex Reynolds
      May 7, 2024 3:34 pm

      Hi there! Thank you for the kind words, I really tried my best to incorporate the exposed pieces of my project to emphasize the aesthetic!


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