Now you see it, now you don’t: the magical Shade by Paul Cocksedge for Flos

“The Shade lamp started as a purely practical problem: how to rid ourselves of the clutter usually connected to light fittings. The solution actually turned out to be quite mysterious, almost dreamlike. It utilizes both floor and ceiling, but it appears connected to neither..!” So says its creator, Paul Cocksedge, the young London-based designer born in 1978, renowned for his experimental designs and his great interest in natural phenomena.

Seen from a distance, Shade looks like an object that has floated in from the surrealist universe of a painting by René Magritte, or a flying lampshade in the fantasy library of an apprentice magician such as Harry Potter. A lamp suspended between sky and earth, a cone of light between floor and ceiling, as if it were emerging from a parallel space-time.

The magic of Shade is the successful outcome of an attempt to avoid conventional solutions for using mains power from the ceiling, eliminating the intrusion of visible wires, cables and switches. Instead, the power derives from an LED floor fitting housed in a small black aluminium box. This element shines light upwards into the Japanese paper shade, which in turn is invisibly suspended from the ceiling by capillary-thin nylon wires. Easily installed in a matter of minutes, Shade can be used as a centrepiece in a room or as an off-centre focus to light up darker corners, shadow-filled corridors and intimate alcoves.

“With its soft and warm, diffused light, Shade draws people into its welcoming circumference,” says Cocksedge, Now yhou His vision of light is decorative and highly imaginative at the same time, but also capable of identifying possible interactions between product design and the natural sciences. Indeed, Paul Cocksedge’s ability to create amazement often becomes poetry. If yesterday this involved using a flower to conduct electricity, today it is a fluttering, rolled sheet of paper that has been transformed into light source.

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