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MyLight.MGX Hanging Lamp

This is a hanging lamp. It was designed by Lars Spuybroek and manufactured by Materialise NV. It is dated 2007 and we acquired it in 2010. Its medium is polyamide (nylon). It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Architect Lars Spuybroek’s MyLight.MGX hanging lamp is a functional yet highly expressive form. Computer technology is a strong component in its blob-like aesthetic and manufacture. Using computer software, Spuybroek created 24 variations on a basic spherical form, stretching, compressing, twisting, rippling, and otherwise altering the body to generate a series of roughly ovoid lamps, each produced as a single piece, layer by layer, rather than as a molded or assembled multi-part body. Each lamp is unique, although produced from the same basic program and by the same process. The irregularly-shaped unique forms and variety of openings and surface variations could not have been achieved without this digital technology.
Spuybroek gained international attention for his 1997 water pavilion on the island of Neeltje Jans in the Netherlands, for which he used a computer as much in the design as in the fabrication. The structure is characterized by a continuous geometry, with walls, floors, and ceilings merging into a fluid whole. The building was among the first to have an interactive interior in which visitors could transform sound and lighting conditions by actively using sensors.
This technical approach reflects an underlying design philosophy. According to Spuybroek, “We can now ‘print’ an object directly from digital information—molds will just disappear. People have no idea yet what an incredible change in technology that is. And what that means for design. All design will become meta-design: objects can now be a range-of-objects, like in a family or a species . . . no two are the same, but they are similar enough to be recognized. We designed the [MyLight.MGX ] in such a way that the differences would be easily readable, without making them too different. They can be big on top, big in the middle, or big below. They can have many holes or just a few. But they will always be private; each lamp you buy is different from the other; it is unique.”[1]
[1] "MyLight.MGX," SIGGRAPH 2009,

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled MyLight.

This object was donated by Materialise NV. It is credited Gift of Materialise NV.

  • PH Artichoke Hanging Lamp
  • bent sheet copper, cast steel, enameled metal.
  • Museum purchase from General Exhibition Funds.
  • 1983-16-1

Our curators have highlighted 13 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Sensuous Thorn Bracelet, 2011
  • cast and oxidized silver, copper wire.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-60
  • Vase (France)
  • glass.
  • Gift of the Estate of Max Kobre.
  • 1996-45-15
  • Fungo Table Lamp
  • blown and cased glass, metal, plastic.
  • Gift of Lella and Massimo Vignelli.
  • 1986-111-1

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 30 x 20 x 16 cm (11 13/16 x 7 7/8 x 6 5/16 in.), irregular

Cite this object as

MyLight.MGX Hanging Lamp; Designed by Lars Spuybroek (Dutch, b. 1959); Manufactured by Materialise NV (Belgium); Belgium; polyamide (nylon); H x W x D: 30 x 20 x 16 cm (11 13/16 x 7 7/8 x 6 5/16 in.), irregular; Gift of Materialise NV; 2010-35-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=MyLight.MGX Hanging Lamp |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=31 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>