“Our eyes are made to see forms in light; light and shade reveal these forms; cubes, cones, spheres, cylinders or pyramids are the great primary forms which light reveals to advantage; the image of these is distinct and tangible within us without ambiguity. It is for this reason that these are beautiful forms, the most beautiful forms.” – Le Corbusier
Fans of modern design may have been equal parts shocked and delighted when, in 2013, Kanye West cited a Le Corbusier lamp as his “greatest inspiration” for his album Yeezus.
Decades earlier, Le Corbusier designed the lamp to complement the raw concrete aesthetic of his Unité d’Habitation de Marseille -a residential project designed to address the postwar housing shortages across Europe – the building that inspired the Brutalist movement.
Le Corbusier – the Swiss-French architect, designer, urban planner, painter, and pioneer of modern architecture – fused a passion for Classical Greek architecture with an attraction to the modern machine. In his book Toward an Architecture, Le Corbusier refers to the house as an industrial product or a “machine for living” that needs to include functional furniture or “equipment de l’habitation.” Along these lines, Le Corbusier designed a system of furniture using a new rationalist aesthetic that came to embody the International Style. Among his extensive portfolio of designs are his now-iconic lamps.
Le Corbusier’s lamps are enjoying a comeback – perhaps, in part, to Yeezy’s namedrop – but mostly thanks to the Italian firm Nemo Lighting, which has reimagined and reissued Le Corbusier’s designs for modern-day use. They currently offer several different lamps – including the Escargot, Borne Breton, and Lamp de Marseille – that use LED lights but are otherwise faithful to the original design.
Take a look thru Nemo Lighting’s resissued Le Corbusier’s lamps below!