Craighton Berman’s Coil Lamp

One of the more auspicious trends of late in A & D involves embracing the elemental form. We’ve seen this concept in many incarnations during the past year, from re-purposing discarded construction materials (Chris Rucker’s Lounge Series), to crafting a new aesthetic from the iconography of the blueprint (Andy Kem’s Breakplane), to my personal favorite—stripping a lamp down to its constituent parts and re-assembling them into a striking lightpiece with an unprecedented look.

Coil Lamp. Designed by Craighton Berman.

The many forms of this tactic have included the Spaghetti Chandelier and the Cage Group Suspension Lamp, each of which call upon the bare-bones look of the all-purpose construction lamp (that naked bulb shrouded in a protective shell of orange plastic, so familiar to me from my childhood visits to my father’s construction sites). So I admit to a bit of a sentimental bias in my unqualified appraisal of Craighton Berman’s ingenious Coil Lamp.





An industrial designer and the Creative Director of Craighton Berman, Mr. Berman is based out of Chicago, always a good choice for his stated objective of establishing a “platform for forming conceptual ideas into tangible objects… my work centers around people’s interactions with objects, the behaviors that are affected, and the experiences that result.” The experience that results for me when I interact with his coil lamp is a rich tapestry of tactile enjoyment. The concept behind the piece is that all a lamp really needs is an electrical source and a bulb; the rest is merely bells and whistles. Just so, the Coil Lamp takes the idea of an iconic “lamp-ness” and fashions it from the very cord that gives it life. The result is a 100-foot extension cord coiled into a form that suggests it has somehow mysteriously inhabited the very soul of lamp. Every great magician has his bag of tricks, however, and in Berman’s case the one on top is the laser-cut acrylic template that gives Coil its form. The result is a reduction of “the iconic table lamp down to the absolute minimum of defining elements.”

Berman currently offers Coil in two incarnations: a handmade version ($150) that’s hand-coiled by the designer and ready to plug and play; and a DIY affair ($75) that comes with the acrylic frame, bulb adapter, and coiling instructions—though it looks pretty self-explanatory to me. In the DIY version, users must purchase their own extension cord, which may be a bit of a headache, but could also have its perks, especially if the distinctive hue of vivid construction orange is not your cup of tea.

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