Takeshi Iue’s Tripod Lamp Elevates the Triangle

People are in love with the triangle. There's no doubt about it. And while the triangle seems imbalanced, askew, unstable even, it forms a very solid base as a tripod. Hence, the long history of the three-legged stool, table, chair, camera stand, lemon-squeezer, etc. and so on and so forth. And now, in 2009, the triangle has catalyzed a young designer by the name of Takeshi Iue (notice the 3 letters of the name) to construct a desk lamp using a triangular base that forms a tripod.

Tripod lamp. Designed by Takeshi Iue.

But it's not just any triangular base; Tripod Lamp is created from an equilateral triangle shape—which, in fact, is not easy (ask architect Nandinee Phookan, whose I Make Studio struggled a bit with the pesky shape in creating their Octavo Table). Takeshi Iue himself went through a slew of drawings and a fair measure of fiddling to reach a working prototype. The result, however, makes his toil worthwhile. Tripod Lamp is a tribute to the triangle, particularly to the simple beauty of its geometry. Constructed of solid American walnut finished with tung oil, Tripod Lamp uses energy-efficient LEDs to light up your workspace. And while Takeshi Iue is in good company—check out my favorite LED desk lamps from the recent past such as LIM and Airline—his particular formulation is unique due to its lack of flexibility. Takeshi Iue explains, "It is designed to be not able to change the height or angle of the head. Once a desk lamp is settled in its position, how often would you change its height or angle?" Good point. I do spend countless hours imagining how I would shift around any product that encourages adjustability, but truthfully, I probably would not move my desk lamp once I got it where I wanted it—which makes me admire Takeshi Iue's frank, nonsensical rigidity.


Tripod prototypes. Designed by Takeshi Iue.


Tripod lamp in walnut and rock maple. Designed by Takeshi Iue.

So deposit Tripod Lamp where you will—and keep it there. Given its unfussy shape, secure base, and clean silhouette, you're sure to not get sick of it. Sometimes basic is best (even if it does remind me of the hangman game's gallows). I like Takeshi Iue's elementary design (by which I mean clean and basal, not childish) almost as much as his earnestness, which I like more only because it reminds me of the importance of being earnest.

Posted August 17, 2009 by Alicita Rodriguez

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