New Shapes in Modular Lighting: Ameba Suspension Lamp

Some time back, fellow 3ringer Alicita Rodriguez profiled the Twist Together Lamp by Brooklyn’s very own Glide Design. A simple concept that encourages user invention, the Twist Together is both innovative and easy, albeit, geared toward a slightly younger demographic than Vibia’s Ameba sectional system. Like the TT, Ameba employs interconnecting modules to create expansive potentiality, but departs from the former in the scope of its ambition.

Ameba. Manufactured by Vibia.

Unlike the TT, which is best for tabletop applications and modest wall plug-ins, Ameba is a prodigiously sized suspension set-up. Its five varieties of undulating modules connect to form a serpentine centerpiece “adaptable to every space and to every need and preference: from a composition with two sections to a design with infinite shapes, offering unthinkable possibilities for every space.” Given the concept and configuration of Ameba, it has philosophical affinities with a handful of luminaries: Ross Lovegrove’s geometrical fluorescent modules (System X) and Karim Rashid’s organically-inspired furniture (Koochy Sofa and Blobulous) come to mind. In fact, Ameba could pass for an imaginative offspring of these two designers. The individual modules range in size from 1.5 to 3 sq. ft., but when combined via the circular connection nodes (they resemble smallish discs with protruding USB plugs), they become impressively ample—up to 100 sq. ft. And Ameba handles the increased wattage of expanded configurations: only one ceiling-mounted j-box required, no matter the size of the ensemble.

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Other features include acrylic diffusers for soft, even light; adjustable length steel suspension cables to accommodate different ceiling heights and aesthetic desires; and models in matte white lacquer or graphite grey. Given Ameba’s innovative aesthetic and terrific range in size and shape, the product has multiple applications: large commercial spaces such as airports or malls will profit from its expansiveness; smaller public venues like restaurants or bars can employ it as an attention-grabbing set-piece; and the most intimate spaces of all (bedrooms or—for the more adventurous—kitchens) can showcase its unusual shape as an intriguing counter-point to modern lines. However you choose to combine, create, and display, Ameba’s curvaceous contours will not disappoint.

Posted June 30, 2009 by Joseph Starr

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