Light My Way, Stranger

On Friday, the MAK Center for Art and Architecture held its first Day of the Dead auction featuring custom-designed lamps by architects and artists from Los Angeles and beyond. The proceeds from the auction will benefit future MAK Center programs and the stewardship of the three Rudolph Schindler dwellings in which their unique programming takes place.

The public opening held within Schindler's pioneering Fitzpatrick-Leland house was the perfect relaxed L.A. party. Part benefit, part critique, part social event, the night brought together friends, peers, artists, architects, and supporters of the MAK Center.

Light My Way, Stranger’s lamp fixtures ranged from reconsiderations of what might be called a lamp to creations repurposing everyday objects and materials to reinterpretations of Schindler to the expected digitally-fabricated creations. Overall, the range of the lamps was impressive, as was the quality— challenges the contributors took seriously, as each lamp required some engineering or at least re-engineering of lamp components.

Most designers consider the lamp to be a house for the light inside, a shade or a shell that shrouds and diffuses raw light, such as Alexis Rochas’ boa-like Light Charming, Ingalill and Roland Wahlroos Ritter’s Lattsinnig, or Ball-Nogues' Music Legs Globe Lamp made out of paper mached toilet paper. For a few, the opportunity was more in redefining the lamp as a structure to create light, such as Sam Durant’s Dead Battery Power, which repurposed dead battery parts, and Renee Petropoulos’s Lamp Opportunistic featuring a mirror intended to capture moonlight. Others mused on Schindler’s language: Andrea Lenardin Madden’s ID 835 lamp interpreted the slot window from the Schindler King’s Road house into a column of light. Francois Perrin’s elegant neon sign spelling out "SPACE" used light as a means to transmit a message about Schindler’s manifesto.

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