Playfully Oversized Lamps Capture Soul of Manchester

Oversized lamps in Manchester
Oversized lamps in Manchester | © Afternyne
Photo of Richard Franks
Freelance Travel & Music Writer1 July 2018

A handful of playful, oversized lamps has appeared in Manchester’s Piccadilly Place, with each one marking significant eras of local historical innovation in the city.

Five larger-than-life lamps have popped up in Manchester city centre, with each design inspired by its own city’s identity and innovative past.

Two of The Manchester Lamps | © Afternyne

Designed by art and design studio Acrylicize and commissioned by Property Alliance Group, the five Manchester lamps signify the following five eras:

Innovation and Education: 1903 Art Nouveau Tiffany Lamp
Advances in Science and Physics: 1932 Art Deco-Style Lamp
Industrious Community: Mid-Century Table Lamp c.1950
Dedication, Perseverance and Discovery: 1901 Banker’s Desk Lamp
Future, Innovation and Creativity: Iconic Anglepoise Lamp

Inspired by the famous Robert Peel quote ‘what Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow’, each lamp tells its own story through a number of graphics woven into the lampshades, including the famous Mancunian worker bee on the 1950s bedside light, and even light positioning.

1901 Banker's Desk Lamp | © Afternyne

For example, on the 1901 Banker’s Desk Lamp (above), you’ll find a scrambled code upon its iconic green canopy, inspired by circuit board patterns and the groundbreaking Enigma code. The Iconic Anglepoise Lamp (below) points forward and shines a pattern on the building above it, shining light on future possibilities ahead.

Iconic Anglepoise Lamp | © Afternyne

Inviting the general public to interact with this forward-thinking public art installation, The Manchester Lamps provide shelter, seating and even boast heating in the winter months.

The sculptures, which shine a light on the city’s community spirit and historical and forward-thinking role as a hub for technological and educational innovation, are complemented by new landscaping, striking floor graphics and colourful patterns in its vibrant tunnel entrance.

The Manchester Lamps | © Afternyne

Speaking about the installation, James Burke, founder of Acrylicize, said: ‘We’re absolutely delighted to be part of this exciting project and 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 honour 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.’

Like what you see? You can visit The Manchester Lamps at Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BN, United Kingdom.