subtle shadow

Tiantian Xu

April / April - 2019

Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach


Tension and relaxation in the right proportions ensure well-being and promote creativity. With the concept of the shadow lamp "subtle shadow" for the desk, the user has the opportunity to control his own individual need for light and shadow.

What is the Topic?

Today, people supposedly always think that artificial light is good and more artificial light is better. We have produced so much light that our cities are made from night to day. In open offices, there is always enough artificial light (even beyond the need) to ensure that employees can always work without fatigue. With the development of artificial intelligence and Industry 4.0, our future work has shifted from the physical to the mental work. It is all the more important to think about future work and to create a work environment that promotes concentration and creativity.

Why does it look like this?

The design process of the office lamp began with the idea of the principle of spatial separation and the independence of light. As space and light are difficult to grasp, an inspiration from the art of origami came close. Repeated flipping of the surfaces from the right or left opens innumerable possibilities, with the front and back of the paper showing an inseparable relationship. Even the grooves on the surface maximizes the sound insulation. These fine stripes also create a shadow on the surface. They repeat, but are different when the light source changes.

What is special?

The minimalist design can be optimally integrated into the modern office landscape and the personalization option guarantees the longevity of the shadow light. Acoustically effective paper technique with grooves on the surfaces are used for sound insulation, the fine shadow stripes throw a suptile calm on the table. Paired with an OLED plate and bending sensor, as well as flexible spring steel links, the subtle form of "subtle shadow" adds that extra touch of poetry that also enriches the office environment.

What is new?

The essence of lighting is to balance our mental health. This is done by controlling the amount of light, the aesthetics of the object itself, and creating awareness of a more sustainable way of dealing with the objects around us. In the current disposable society, many products have a lifecycle of no more than two years. A minimalist design paired with personalization option with easy technical feasibility ensure a more durable product that preserves usability in the long run.