At the Helm

At the Helm

Dirk van der Kooij’s Helm is one of those design objects that’s difficult to pin down.

Pendant lamp made from molten plastic

Is it glass? Is it resin? Is it some otherworldly polymer, taken shape as an inscrutable orb that appears to both project and absorb light simultaneously?

Close-up of top

In fact, it’s a piece that exemplifies van der Kooij’s work and philosophy. Known for his explorations into making plastic “an honest, durable material,” van der Kooij characterizes Helm as “a belted sphere grown additively from syrupy ribbons of molten, recycled plastic.”

Dirk van der Kooij with several of his Helm lights

The deft manipulations of this strange and unpredictable material manifest as layers of material held in perpendicular contrast to one another. The effect is rather like a shielding strategy to protect a molten, glowing core: “When passing through the corrugated structure, light breaks, softens, and multiplies into an engulfing spread.”

Lights suspended in the designer's studio

See Kooij to find out more.

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