Cloth Luminaire

Randall Yarborough

Cloth Luminaire, Line extension of Knoll products. My design concept stems from research into the development of the Paper Clip Table designed in 1993. My concept was inspired by the linkage of the Paper Clip Table to the Handkerchief chair, which extended the logic of utilitarian object-languages as inspiration for form.

Cloth Luminaire

ClothLuminaire-Admire2Cloth Luminaire - Close Up


The Designers Massimo and Lela Vignelli designed the Paperclip Table in 1994 for Knoll Studios. The design stemmed from the earlier Vignelli Handkerchief Chair. It has been produced for the Knoll Company since then.

Design and Construction
The Paperclip is design for residential and business contexts. The table is constructed with a laminate top with molded urethane beveled edges. The top is also made of a clear tempered glass with polished pencil edges. The base is constructed of cold rolled steel rods with fused polyester and rilsan or chrome-plated finish. The glass tops come in many different finishes and colors, from laminate, black, and clear.

The Knoll Studio was established in 1938 by Hans and Florence Knoll in East Greenville, Pennsylvania. Some of the most notable designers to collaborate with Knoll have been; Alvar Alto, Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Florence Knoll, Richard Meier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Tobia Scarpa, and Massimo & Lella Vignelli


My inspiration started directly from formal models that Vignelli designed for the Paperclip Table. The idea of creating a linear base to hold a solid item to transfer information to the consumer was a very ideal use in my concept. The use of the Handkerchief chair and using it to develop another element of the project was also a useful source to convey the idea of keeping these units as a system. My idea of bringing a third element to this family look was sparked by the understanding that both of these items (Handkerchief chair and Paperclip table) developed with these all being something in a work/office space. The necessity of light was evident and this is how I started to establish the Cloth Luminaire.

Cloth Lumninaire - Inspiration

Cloth Lumninaire - InspirationCloth Lumninaire - Inspiration


To start off my concept design process, I developed various sketches to create this junction of the handkerchief and paperclip. Then these two developed into creating sketches of floor lamps and using another element that is a useful but underappreciated item on the office desk. The idea of using only the necessary elements on the desk (Massimo desk) was to keep it clean and concise with only the needs of the user. Through some of these sketches I also mocked up a design model to portray size and structure.

Cloth Luminaire - Process1

Cloth Luminaire - Process2Cloth Luminaire - Process3