It is probably a given that most people know of Anglepoise, a brand probably synonymous with at least one university project by almost all student product designers. Classically British through every vein of its company infrastructure, Anglepoise was even chosen to feature on one of the special edition Royal Mail postage stamp designs in 2009, alongside the K2 Telephone Kiosk, London Underground Map, the Routemaster Bus, and the Mini Skirt.
Anglepoise in essence merely design and manufacture lamps, and whilst a seemingly mundane product-type, the brand represents so much more; there is so much depth to its development over the years that Roald Dahl could probably write several volumes on its history (for those in the know, our choice of Dahl here is highly appropriate…). In 2013, to illustrate just how influential the brand has become, Anglepoise was selected specifically by the Design Museum as one of six “design stories that illustrate the impact of contemporary design on our everyday lives”. The brand really does echo a notion of extraordinary stemming from the ordinary.
With a design largely unchanged since the 1930’s, you’d expect that the brand had become stale over time. Quite the opposite. Pioneering a fantastic balancing mechanism that combines together with an almost svelte-like form and the use of carefully chosen and minimalist colour-ways, Anglepoise has stayed entirely true to its origins. Not wanting to alter the original design so much, such was its success, Anglepoise has recently collaborated with Paul Smith, Margaret Howell and Eley Kishimoto. Smith – a champion of modernity amongst classical Britain -, Howell – a celebrator of minimalism in product design -, and Kishimoto – famous for some of the world’s finest geometric and monochromatic patterns -, all combine to create a fusion of design greatness, where such a roster is largely unrivalled.
Anglepoise began as merely a side project concept to George Carwardine, a man who specialised in the automotive industry, and the very original ‘1227’ design is still commercially available today. Developed through the years into the 21st century by Sir Kenneth Grange, various extended collections have proved to be almost equally as popular. You may be hard pushed to not see an Anglepoise in at least one bar, restaurant, hotel or office on any given day, not least a replica trying to mimic the brand’s greatness.
Focussing on recent years and specifically this one design we absolutely love at SATORI & SCOUT, Anglepoise has developed a floor-standing version of the original ‘1227’ lamp, termed appropriately ‘1227 Giant’. Such a lamp is exactly three times as large in every dimension as the original table lamp, and is absolutely stunning. A fantastic statement piece for any modest or minimalist, luxurious or exuberant home (or office), you get a real sense of person-like character, especially upon standing side by side one. The lamp’s head is comparable (albeit larger) to a person’s head, whilst the form’s member trusses (correct engineer terminology) feel all too humanlike. The lamp, as expected, looks great and is totally awesome, though doesn’t come cheap; at £2400.00 each you have to be serious about design to be decorating your lounge with a ‘1227 Giant’. Custom colours are available to those who plan on spending even more than the usual price tag, though one would arguably not want to deviate from Anglepoise’s standard roster of colour-ways, such is the on-point nature of their colour choices too.
Appropriately, the design is currently on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, so its well worth a visit! The ‘1227 Giant’ lamp is definitely on our office wish list…
(Oh, and if you were wondering, the reason for our mention of Roald Dahl is because it was this man’s very own Anglepoise that sat within his writing hut that led to the original commissioning of the ‘1227 Giant’ by the Roald Dahl Museum, acting as a prototype prior to its production for general sale. Wise choice by both parties.)
Anglepoise lamps are available at selected stores and online at Anglepoise.com.
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(Photography Credit : Anglepoise.com)