There is a 'certain something' all great product design has in common - it's ability to be timeless, to simultaneously appear both classic and contemporary and to adapt easily between era's, trends and spaces.
The Anglepoise Lamp certainly fits into this category, and although it has been repeatedly copied (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery) the originals are still the best. Recently, as part of the Clerkenwell (London) Design Week, British Fashion Designer Paul Smith added his stamp to the iconic Anglepoise. Click on the gallery below to see the results.
Incidentally, Paul Smith himself is also currently the subject of a major exhibition at London's Design Museum entitled 'Hello my name is Paul Smith" which celebrates his career and firmly cements his position as one of the UK's most influential fashion designers.
Anglepoise was also recently featured at the Design Museum as part of a permanent (until 2015) display 'Extraodinary Stories about Ordinary Things' highlighting the impact of contemporary design in everyday life.
The first Anglepoise lamp was created back in 1933, after a car designer George Carwardine developed the idea of a task light where flexibility, balance and tension was mastered with springs and levers. This original model had four springs but was reworked a few years later after being considered too industrial for the mass market, so the three spring version was launched.
This later version launched in 1935, is known as the Anglepoise Original 1227, which with some tweaks over the years, still remains the archetypal classic Anglepoise Lamp.
In 2009, when Anglepoise celebrated it's 75th anniversary it was honoured by being featured on a Royal Mail stamp (you know you've made it when you are printed on a stamp!) and was in good company, with other iconic British designs.
The Anglepoise is instantly recognisable in it's different guises - here the original 1227 is adapted with a wall bracket for maximum flexibility and versatility.
The Original 1227 Lamp has also grown up - literally! The triple-scale version is available as both a floor and pendant light, and was originally commissioned by the Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre as a 'reflection' of the original Anglepoise that the author himself used when writing.
Last year Anglepoise collaborated with Strong Island & The University of Portsmouth (UK) in a year-long project involving ten artists, ten photographers and an Anglepoise light. It culminated in a series of exhibitions and ten posters and ten videos.
Inspired by the Creating Balance Project, Anglepoise has released a special edition light with one of the artists that participated (the Street Artist My Dog Sighs). Each shade is unique and hand crafted with acrylic paints in his very distinctive style.
We have a soft spot for the Anglepoise Original 1227 as it was used every day on my Dad's desk at home, before illuminating many all-nighters on my desk through University, and now finds itself in my son's room ready for a new generation!