John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Illuminate a room in a classy way, while also making it seem the world is upside down.
If you want to dazzle guests with your urbane tastes—and also create the uneasy feeling sky and earth have flipped—install some of these 3D-printed light bulb covers, which are modeled after skyscrapers from the Art Deco era.
The fittingly named "Stalaclights" slip over LED bulbs to give a room a cool glow. They're a recent creation of David Graas, a product designer from the Netherlands whose work often focuses on sustainability. (Check out his PET-bottle vases, for instance, or plans for furniture made from discarded cardboard.) For this project, he wanted to exploit the nearly heatless surface of LEDs to make decor that's half skyline, half abysmal cavern. He writes:
The intricate design of the shades are inspired by the Art Deco era, a time when the first skyscrapers appeared in big cities like New York and Chicago. Nowadays every major city is dominated by high rise buildings. Their height steadily increasing in time, fueled by the desire of their builders to realize the highest building of the world. If you would imagine these cities turned upside down it would look just like stalactites growing from the ceiling of a limestone cave. Steadily growing in time with every drop of ground water seeping through the cave's roof.
At about $210 a pop, not including a hefty tax for non-E.U. purchases, these will form a considerable expense for anybody with a lot of light fixtures (or, god forbid, a chandelier). But on the other hand, they're cheaper than buying a real Art Deco masterpiece:
And for folks who like their buildings in clumps, Grass also made this bulbous cityscape, called "Huddle":
H/t MOCO Submissions