London-based studio Acrylicize is the design team behind Manchester, England’s newest piece of public art—five giant lamp sculptures situated in Piccadilly Place. Each piece was built to honor and represent a specific time in Manchester’s rich history, as well as celebrate what’s to come. Ranging from 11 to 20 feet tall, the structures are based on different lamp styles from five distinct design eras: Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Victorian, mid-century, and contemporary.
From an enormous Art Deco-style reading lamp to a massive Anglepoise, each playful piece provides shelter, seating, light, and even electric heating in winter. Some of the huge lamp shades feature graphics that illustrate Manchester’s historic stories. For example, the motifs illustrated on the Art Deco lamp celebrate Nobel Prize winner Earnest Rutherford, whose research at Manchester University led to the splitting of the first atom in 1932.
The Art Nouveau lamp pays homage to Manchester’s famous Chetham’s Library, while the 1950s-style lamp gives a nod the city’s proud “worker bee” legacy with its honeycomb-patterned lattices. The oversized bankers desk lamp features a scrambled number code in its green canopy, representing computer scientist Alan Turing, who studied at the University of Manchester and cracked the Enigma code. Finally, the modern Anglepoise lamp projects a vibrant display of light and color onto the surrounding building walls, representing the city’s bright and spirited future.
The founder of Acrylicize, James Burk, says, “We hope that the lamps will bring people together and provide a lasting legacy to the city…Manchester has such an amazing heritage in innovation, it’s been a real honor to tell the story of both the city and its people. Our hope is that locals and visitors alike connect with the work with a sense of belonging and pride.”
Discover more of Acrylicize’s projects on their website.