German designer Simon Frambach’s Soft Light is a glowing balloon-shaped light shade that interacts with its surroundings to serve a range of purposes from an illuminated pillow to lighting up dark areas by being wedged between objects. The shade is created from a massive block of polyurethane foam on a simple self-constructed device for rotational milling. An energy-saving light bulb, protected by a cage, illuminates the porous foam from the inside.
The initial idea came from Frambach’s experiments with different surfaces and how these could alter a lamp’s function. “To me it is fascinating how one little alteration (the softness) can really change the whole concept of a product that surrounds us. Soft Light is intended as an object that leaves its utilisation to the people who use it,” explains Frambach.
The light was created with the intention of filling up the void spaces in any living environment – simply place it on the table, or fill in the cavities between the furniture or even use it as a pillow or headrest. “I think it is really interesting to see what people come up with as a first guess. Some see their toddlers who are afraid of the dark cuddling with the lamp, whereas others look at it for the sole purpose of a reading light in bed. I personally appreciate its flexibility – being able to squash it between gaps makes you think of all the situations and furnishings it would fit into, such as shelves, stool legs or any rigid structure in one’s environment,” says Frambach.
Its warm and tangible surface invites to touching and literally feeling light. The result is a light which is extremely flexible in use without having a technical characteristic.