Arabesque Bowl by dform

Lately, everything’s coming up Brooklyn. Wallpapers, book publishers, galleries, and furniture—all made in that large borough that was once an independent city. Artists have taken up residence in the old Brooklyn Navy Yard, in ramshackle Red Hook buildings, even in houseboats along the polluted Gowanus Canal. Now add dform to this hoi polloi, and you’ve got inventive laser-cut lighting and screens. Founded in 2001 by James Deiter, dform creates everything by hand in the company’s Flushing Avenue studio assembling punch pattern lamps and room dividers.

Arabesque Bowl. Designed by dform.

Everything dform begins with a pattern of interlocking die-cut wood veneer or plastic that is shaped into a floor, ceiling, or wall lamp. While dform carries standard products, they can also turn any pattern into a customizable light or screen, whatever shape or size you prefer. Arabesque is one of dform’s patterns, made stunning as a dramatic, boat-shaped light diffuser created for Chicago’s Sushi Samba Rio. For everyone else, the pattern is also quite arresting as a pendant lamp called Arabesque Bowl. Hugging the ceiling like a flower bud, the Arabesque Bowl measures 10” h x 30” w. The snaking, curving shapes create waves—currents made all the more striking when backlit. Sections where pieces of veneer overlap appear darker, like the rippled edges of clamshells.



Arabesque Bowl does much to live up to its name, which can mean (besides the ballet position, which seems an unintended parallel) any elaborate pattern, an ornate musical composition (especially for piano), or a complex design of intertwined floral, foliate, or geometric figures. Dform’s Arabesque pattern fulfills all these interpretations, given its dense, repeating ornamentation—recalling everything from brain coral to can-can skirts. And using the power of synaesthesia (cross-sensory stimulation or metaphor), we can imagine what sweet music these visual swells and undulations might yield. What is the sound of the Arabesque Bowl’s beauty?

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