Mr. Light is as self-explanatory as Mr. Potato Head. That is more of a compliment than a disparagement. The light series evolved out of a utilitarian desire—to craft a fixture specifically for use with the new LED T8 tube light bulbs. Materiality drives the Mr. Light Series, as well as the designer’s other creations: Tomas Alonso likes his “designs to appear simple, natural and almost obvious, but with a quirkiness.” Alonso boils design down to the fundamental level: “I try to arrive to the simplest element that then can be combined into more complex structures, to provide users with the building blocks to create their own environments.”
Mr. Light. Designed by Thomas Alonso for Alonso Showcases.
Mr. 1, Mr. 2, and Mr. 3 showcase the new LED tubes, which is exactly Alonso’s point. They are energy-efficient and interesting objects in and of themselves, so why hide the beauty of the bulb with unnecessary clutter? Mr. Light Series—like the Rhizome and Brave New World Lamps—identifies its very structure, the simple form a tribute to its components. Alonso explains it best: “These newly developed light tubes allow for more flexibility with the design by reducing the number of components needed to power them as well as by not needing a reflector shade. These lights explore the formal continuity between the bulb and the fixture while playing with the way the materials come together to produce a series of unexpected characters.”
Constructed of powder-coated steel and ash, Mr. Light Series takes on the shapes that you imagine. The floor model becomes a figure from the sadistic childhood game of Hangman. The ceiling-mounted Mr. Light becomes the lightsaber used to fight evil (good will prevail). The wall-mounted configuration with its cables and pulleys becomes a factory tool or architectural model—homage to one of Gaudi’s funicular models. Every Mr. Light gets punctuated with its very own red cord, lest you forget that light needs to be plugged in—Is this Alonso’s reminder to conserve energy or simply a touch of whimsy? The meaning you attribute to that matter is your own.