Anglepoise is a Designer’s Designer

In the words of Brick Tamland: I love (Paul Smith x Anglepoise Type75) lamp. 

The Anglepoise lamp was invented in 1932 by George Carwardine, a vehicle engineer that worked with and pioneered suspension systems. When the automotive company he worked for went bankrupt in 1929, Carwardine locked himself off in a shed in Bath and began working on his creative goals: utilising the suspension systems he’d developed in a creative and personal setting.

Three years later he emerged, unshaven and smelly, from the shed, cradling his prize invention – the blueprint for the Anglepoise 4-spring lamp. It offered unprecedented freedom of movement, granting the lucky owner the ability to light up all parts of their desk at their own will, the lamp’s weight perfectly counterbalanced. This is something we might take for granted, but 100 years ago, it was revolutionary, almost on par with flying cars and hoverboards. 

The Anglepoise is perhaps best captured by Pixar’s animated logo, which, via anthropomorphisation, demonstrates the 360 degrees of freedom a lamp can have. 

The Anglepoise legacy continues many iterations and variations later. Sir Kenneth Grange, a British engineer with a similar background to Carwardine – automotive, locomotive – continued Carwardine’s legacy by tweaking various Anglepoise lamps. In 2004, he designed the Type 75, based on a 50’s model, the Apex 90. Grange reinterpreted the modernist line and no-frills functionality of its predecessor for new generations. 

As an emblem of British heritage, the Anglepoise brand has been seen worldwide, with secret upgrades from Q in James Bond films, to Paul Smith renditions. 

This Type75 from Paul Smith sees the British designer bless the muted and grey base of the lamp with streaks of trademark yellow, magenta, pastel pink, and baby blue, resulting in an elegant and iconic collaboration between two British heritage brands. 

Anglepoise x Paul Smith.

Write A Comment