Amaranthaceae Gomphrena Globosa:
The flower which gives the Phrena its name.

I wanted the assembly of the light fixture to be as simple as opening a book. It was to be perfectly flat to begin with and through careful manipulation, a three dimensional form would take shape. I was also attracted to the concept of the material simplicity becoming complex. There are so many perameters to play with that will alter the appearance and function of the light. But at the most basic level, it is a composition of pages all working together in symmetry.

It has come a long way, but the light is finally done. Thanks to Artecnica, the Phrena light has become a reality. You can see one of the early prototypes here.

For purchasing information, contact Artecnica Inc.
Or order online through

designer: Karl Zahn



Making something out of nothing

A book is an assembly of carefully ordered pages. The pages have a front and a back, but we rarely see both at the same time and it can be difficult to think of a page as having a third dimension. But a simple bend in a page can create both positive and negative volume. A crease creates inside and outside, walls and windows. It can be both permiable and opaque. All of a sudden, it has dimension and structure. A two dimensional page is not lacking dimension. Rather, it harbors the potential to transcend the third dimension and create volume out of space. But to complete a composition, one cannot rely on single pages alone. It is the cooperation of many that form the whole. And it is with this understanding and careful manipulation that something can be made out of nothing. Dimension can exist where there was none before. And with the subtlest of materials, we can shape things as powerful as light.

© 2010