Inspired by the darkest Universe mystery

Designed by Dario Narvaez and Anthony Baxter / Prototype: Curve ID Team


Winner project in the Established category in the L A M P Design Competition. The lamp was exhibited in the JAN KATH showroom in Vancouver, BC in 2016, as well as in the Consulate of Colombia in New York. 

A popular depiction of a black hole is an unseen force of nature drawing light down to a single point in space. Using this analogy, the ‘Black Hole Lamp’ controls the intensity of the light being emitted by creating a funnel from which the light cannot escape.

In the ‘on’ position the reflective disc of material is fully illuminated, but as the flexible disc is drawn back towards the center of the black hole, the light gets dimmer until it eventually disappears. The ‘Black Hole Lamp’ is effectively dimming the light as it changes shape, in the same way a black hole draws in light and matter by altering the fabric of space.

“I thought this lamp was fantastic – so elegant and I love that you have to pull back the metal ‘switch’ to dim the lighting, as if you’re stretching time and space, ... You know, it’s always a dilemma – structure and engineering versus metaphor and poetry – but, in the end, a lamp has to be functional. This one has it all.”
— Phillip K. Smith III. American contemporary artist. Creator of fine art light and space works

Original hand sketches

...the future of the universe is not completely determined by the laws of science, and its present state, as Laplace thought. God still has a few tricks up his sleeve...
— Stephen Hawking

The inspiration in “Cosmic” is vast. Numerous ideas came out after looking to different medias and sources, and visiting the wonderful The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

The the installation by Jenny E. Sabin was an important reference. An architectural framework inspired by both nature and mathematics, and built from an assemblage of mediums: digitally knitted 3D elements, solar active and drake yarns, twill tape and aluminum tubing. The temporary pavilion employs both photoluminescent and light activated yarns that absorb, collect, and deliver luminance.

The phenomena related to the Universe was the biggest inspiration. I wanted a lamp inspired by the beautiful imagery from the space, but also from the events that occur on it. The plan was to have a beautiful piece, but also functionally inspired by nature.

Jenny Sabin Installation. A light-absorbing knitted textile pavilion at Copper Hewitt Design Museum in New York City, 2017


Satellites, telescopes and in general all the props related to the universe start invading designers mind with beautiful images and textures. Nasa website is a great source of inspiration.

Wooden model to tests different fabrics: Spandex, nylon, mesh, and also latex in different thicknesses and colors. Some materials were more stretchy than others.

Rough digital sketches to quickly iterate and visualize possible final looks

Rough digital sketches to quickly iterate and visualize possible final looks

Prototype Collaborators:

Curve ID, Metal fabrication: Benjamin Duarte, Electronics & programming: Eddy Viana, Mark Breneman, Marc Vivant, Prototype consulting: Ronald Ondrey.