LAMP 155 (2018 - )
Santiago Accini X Simone Crestani
After a deep investigation regarding the history and complexity of glass on Design, the Lamp 155 appeared guided by a social-historical data of these material.
The Lamp 155 portrays the story of the "tax on the window," a value that began to be charged to people in England in 1696 by order of King William III. The tax consisted basically on paying a value per each window you have at home. At the beginning, the tax was accepted by many, but over time it increased to five times the value that started.
To avoid this considerable tax, the solution of many people was to wall in the windows, living in the darkness and without fresh air at their homes during 155 years.
Many impacting details of this social-historical showed me the importance of translating this story into an object:
The smell inside the english homes was nauseating to an unbearable extreme. A specific medical report tells the story of 52 persons who caught a fever for living on a building without ventilation.
Since the tax collectors were not entering to the buildings to count the windows each person had, if you were living in a building with 12 windows and your flat had 4 windows, you were asked to pay for 12 windows. This happened because tax collectors knew there were many buildings with holes on the inside, so (for example) the third floor was able to give a bit of light and fresh air to the first one.
The idea we had of windows back then changed. Tax collectors forced people to pay the value if they had a hole on the wall covering the light and fresh air.
The tax extended to countries like Ireland, France and Mexico to finally end in 1851 after many big demonstrations.
A prototype that portrays what English, Irish, French and Mexican people could have perceived on the inside of their homes.
The 155 years of darkness story shows that the most important property of glass is transparency. Without it we are not able to receive light at home, ventilate it and be protected from the outside at the same time.
To transform that relation transparency-light-darkness into a single object, the project demanded me to do a Lamp including the relevant elements. Darkness, because of many of the bricks that don’t let the light escape from the inside, just as it happened on the english homes where the light wasn’t able to enter. Light, because of the holes considered in the brick tower that let the illumination go out. Finally transparency, which we can find in the glass pieces located in the holes and that let the illumination go out of the tower.
A tower of artisan bricks was made including a metallic squared structure on the inside containing 4 LED Stripes. After that, glass was blown in the holes that this brick tower formed with the help of the glass artist Simone Crestani.