Our Syzygy lamps are primarily composed of three light-filtering glass circles placed in front of three equally round LED light sources, with Eclipse and Occultation also incorporating a concrete foot which has the cable cast directly inside. The amount of light emitted by the LED can be adjusted by turning either of the two foremost glass filters by hand. Rotating the filters left or right in nearly endless configurations allows users to change the light atmosphere with extreme subtlety; every millimeter turned gives a different effect. We made the lamps for the ‘Objects Rescoped’ exhibition during Dutch Design Week, which was based on the theme of re-appreciation. We’d read an article in the newspaper that described how the sun was entering a winter sleep period of approximately 70 years, where the average temperature on earth will drop by around 1 to 1.5 degrees overall. Although this temperature difference isn’t drastically noticeable, it will be enough to combat the effects of global warming — or so the article says. The article gave us the idea that perhaps the rising and setting of the sun could end up being one of the most important phenomena that we humans take for granted, hence the need for re-appreciation.
We took that notion further by looking at light or sunlight itself, and the discrepancy between the way most lamps operate and the fact that the transition between night and day isn’t an instantaneous flicking of a switch, but a wonderful graduation that takes time. The physical blocking of light, as the basis for our concept, gave us the ability to fade from light to dark gradually, just like in nature. As for the name, NASA has a term for the revolution of the earth around the sun that allows us to experience night and day. It’s called a syzygy, which simply put is a straight line configuration of three celestial bodies that can produce three distinct effects depending on how they align: a transit, an occultation, and an eclipse, each of which we chose to demonstrate with
our three lamps.