The London-based art and design studio Acrylicize has designed a series of five playfully oversized lamps for the Manchester’s Piccadilly Place. Inspired by the famous Sir Robert Peel quote ‘What Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow’, The Manchester Lamps honor the city’s illustrious past while optimistically looking towards the future. Each lamp marks a significant local historical innovation and its time period reflected in a distinctive design style.
A visual narrative of motifs and graphics are woven into the shades of each lamp to represent different stories of different eras. The motifs illustrated on the Art Deco lamp celebrate Ernest Rutherford splitting the first atom at Manchester University in 1932. The book pages and fountain pen designs on the Art Nouveau Tiffany lamp celebrate education and learning through the UK’s oldest library, proudly housed at Manchester University. Similarly, the honeycomb design lattices across the 1950’s bedside light denote the famous Mancunian worker bee mantra, while the humble green desk light represents Alan Turing and his dedication to maths and computing technology via the famous enigma code displayed on the glowing green canopy.
The iconic Anglepoise Lamp, which turns upwards projecting a graphic pattern onto the surrounding wall, is designed to represent the future and next chapter of the city. It shines the light on future possibilities, not just for the people of Manchester but for the world’s community at large. The shafts of angled light playfully interact with the angles of the surrounding architecture and urban environment.
As well as providing lighting, the lamps offer shelter and seating for people and incorporate electric heaters for the winter months. They are complemented by new landscaping and paving plus bold floor graphics and colorful patterns within the tunnel entrance. It is hoped these lamps will serve visitors and locals alike, providing a unique meeting point for the people of Manchester to come together and connect in the way that they do best.
LOCATION: Piccadilly Place, Manchester, UK
SIZE: from 3.4 to 6 m tall