“A thousand and One Lights”, is a freestanding and interactive sculptural lamp, created in collaboration with designer Fady H. Salamé.
It is composed of seven pivoting superimposed cubes, which facets depict a different frame story each, portraying one of the twenty-eight Arabic letters as main character, in a “dual” typeface showing the symbol and its own mirror image.
Materials vary for the two parts: while the main font is in mirrored steel, reflecting its surroundings, and having a striking presence during the day, its pendant is a negative space cut in black steel sheets; when the light is on, the shadow’s shape is reversed again, allowing it to be legible at night.
Versatile in every way, the lamp has different personalities day and night. It varies drastically from a dark, delicately textured monolith to a playful geometric structure with endless configurations. Shifting narratives and lights are triggered by the user as he rotates the cubes, discovering words, creating his own stories, flooding the surrounding surfaces with shadows, achieving a kinetic effect as spots of light appear and disappear, enlarge and shrink…
The multilayered approach of the work, both in terms of concept and application, allowed me to explore several aspects of Islamic tradition, namely hinting at its rich diversity, and paying tribute to the arts of calligraphy, poetry and storytelling, while re-interpreting Islamic patterns and features in a contemporary language, using symbolic materials and modern technologies.