A dark paper lampshade wrapped in a laser-stitched triangular grid, the Take-Off Light provides an elegant platform to play with light and shadow—simply poke out and pattern at will. German designer Maximilian Schmahl created the DIY beacon while considering the philosophy behind his new fifti-fifti label, making a equal connection between the object and the customer.
“I wanted to make a product you can customize, something that gives you joy while using it, a vibrant product,” he said. “I started to experimenting with perforated paper and it was just perfect to design a lamp with it. The owner can decide for him or herself where the light comes through the shade.”
While he was experimenting with laser-cut paper, Schmahl played with a variety of patterns, even slowly poking and etching out letters and pictures, but he prefers something more geometric. “I was more interested in thinking about different rooms where the Take-Off might be in the future, and I tried to create different moods with it. I just prefer simple structures and patterns.”
Schmahl hopes the Take-Off does just that for his new fifti-fifti label, which he recently founded, two years after graduating from Bauhaus-University Weimar and working in a few design studios. So far, his light has already received feedback from across the world, though he can currently only sell in the EU (“At the moment everybody can send me an email and we can talk about it”).
“When you are an unknown designer you really have to be patient,” he says. “ Even if you manage to start working with a company, it takes a long time until you can live from that work. I started fifti-fifti because I am free to realize my own ideas. There are several more objects planned for fifti-fifti — always useful, surprising and poetic.”
During the course of his career writing about music and design, Patrick Sisson has made Stefan Sagmeister late for a date and was scolded by Gil Scott-Heron for asking too many questions. His work has appeared in Pitchfork, Nothing Major, Wax Poetics, Stop Smiling and Chicago Magazine.
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