Pole by Paul Cocksedge



Milan 08: designer Paul Cocksedge launched his new Pole lights for Established and Sons.


The light works on the same principle as fibre optics: light travels along an acrylic rod from the source in the concrete base and follows the bend of the plastic before emerging as a beam from the end.


Pole is available as a floor light or table lamp.


Photographs by Mark Cocksedge

Here's some text from Cocksedge:


POLE for Established & Sons

This elegant table and floor light challenges the common perception that light travels in a straight line. It provides ambient light as well as a dimmable, focussed, directional beam. Using a minimum of materials and components, it is surprisingly simple but provides a spectacle rarely found in such an everyday domestic lighting product.


Light travels from a light source embedded deep within a concrete base and up through an optical grade, precisely curved, transparent acrylic rod and eventually culminates in a bright beam appearing at more than a metre from its source.


“I wanted to create the illusion of bending light on an everyday scale. In order to achieve this I needed
to send rays of light on a journey of internal reflection,” explains Paul Cocksedge.


See more from Established & Sons in Milan in our previous stories here and here.



Posted on Friday April 25th 2008 at 11:51 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • F

    wonderful .

  • francesco
  • SereTrab

    Francesco, ok, there’s no innovation here, nor actual benefit, but it’s a wonderful object anyways: fascinating and evocative.

  • yung

    Old tricks with acrylic. The form is nice, though.

  • Michael

    These are a little gimmicky. When they get scratched the invisible effect ends and the scratches become prominent.
    I could see this idea being used in a tall over head floor lamp where the rod is concealed or ultra thin. Ergonomically it is easier to replace the bulb in the base then it is to climb up. The conversation then becomes how such a tiny point allows for a light source.

  • A great name, very descriptive.

    But I don’t see this working as ambient lighting. The light itself, the colours, the textures and the materials are too cold. The form is very male … dare I say phallic?!

  • greg

    This product is more of a glowing object (which bothers me) than a functional light, pretty as it is.

  • Sluggo

    “provides a spectacle rarely found in such an everyday domestic lighting product.”

    Joe Colombo’s Oluce light is a more elegant example of this technology, and is 30 plus years old.

  • Damfak

    form follows function follows technology

    or is it the other way?

  • tony richardson

    hi all, i saw these lights at the show . . . . they were taller then me!!!! How does light travel that far??

    I was told that it uses some ‘high tech’ led that you never had to change which sounds cool.

    I kinda like them . . . they were really bright!!

  • I want one!

  • bla

    theres nothing new here. i think its a bit studenty and out of context with the rest of established range..
    looks nicer in day light with the light off.

  • Billy

    I really like the concept- the base stops it being an elegant design tho. I can’t help imagining what Marcel W would have come up with for the base

  • doctor in design

    Dear All,

    I have been following design now for some 30 years. I came across this website yesterday. What I find surprising is the lack of knowledge from the people who respond.

    I was very surprised at the rude comments about Maarten Baas piece for Established (which I find rather beautiful).

    Unlike most I actually went to the Milan opening and met the designers and spoke to them about their dreams. Cocksedge explained that it was only in this year that this lamp (with its 60w of light output from the end) could be possible to produce. He uses an innovative light source that allows the light to travel 1.8 metres with no heat generated – which means you can touch the light and you wont get burnt. (try touching a light bulb!!)

    Baas explained to me where the forms had come from . . I understood his dreams. He is producing work that only the mature can appreciate.

    To say that these pieces are not new or innovative is incorrect . . . trust me ‘im a doctor in design’

    Good night

  • dear doctor, could it be that Paul is using a powerled? These LEDs are very hot compared to the other LEDs, hence the use of a concrete base to disperse the heat?

    It is a common misunderstanding that LEDs do not create any heat. While it is true that they are way cooler and last much much longer than light bulbs, they still generate some heat.

    As to Baas, he should have published the story he told you with the images on Dezeen as we weren’t as lucky as you were ;)

  • Sluggo

    The comments about Maarten Baas pieces(which I like) for the most part weren’t rude, they were honest. I disagree with them but that’s their right.
    As to explanations making the work better I disagree. Claiming new technology is ludicrous here.

  • tony richardson

    Sluggo . . . .

    to achieve the light output that this product achieves uses new technology (IT CANT BE DONE WITH OLD TECHNOLOGY) sorry to spell it out . .its just . . ..
    the Oluce light is similar in technique . . but believe me i have seen both and the light output is not comparable . . . .

    hope this helps x

  • Thomas

    I’ve seen similar – with a different base – in an Amsterdam shop in 2006 or 2007. Same round acrylic, maybe the long part a bit more curved.

    So, nothing new here, except perhaps independent reinvention.

  • FBot

    There’s plenty of high out-put LED’s on the market now and they were there last year. With a bunch of them in the base with optics to aim the light it will happily travel along the acrylic rod.

    This product simply uses the age old techniques from fibre optic lighting, re-worked into a useable product for the home. It’s definitely relevant and functional which is good.

    What pole says is spot on about the heat dispersion. The fact is that the source is a meter from the head of the fitting. Did anyone touch the base? It would be warm for sure, but not hot, I would think. I couldn’t make it to Milan this year.

    I think the concept is fine and the function is great. I just think the form of the base etc could’ve been done a bit better.

    Overall, nice work Paul.

  • Simon

    Fibre optics are great in the pure sense of the form, but if the fibre is unprotected it becomes susceptible to damage. The sheer process of cleaning the acrylic rod over time will in fact damaging the reason why this light works.

  • Chris

    doctor of design – you crack me up.
    I am so glad that you got to Milan, talked to Paul, and seem to be one of the mature and fortunate few to have have “understood his dreams”.

    This isnt inventive, or clever for that matter. It simply copies Joe Colombos work (which WAS inventive and clever – given the restraints and thermal challenges posed by incandescent bulbs at the time).

    Your comment – “innovative light source” (which isn’t Pauls design by the way) “that allows the light to travel 1.8 metres with no heat generated” is innacurate. Heat IS generated, but spacing the source away from the start of the acrylic bar reduces the heat transfer into the acrylic, allowing a high wattage source to be used. Plus acrylic is an insulator and therefore will tend to further isolate the heat generated by the source. Both these aspects mean that you can touch the light “and you wont get burnt”.

    Trust me – I’m a Mechanical Engineer!

    Good day

    P.S. I’m so glad you finally came across this website – I’m sure we’ll all benefit from your wisdom and maturity.

  • Will MacCormac

    Its getting hot in here!

    I don’t think Paul’s light ‘copies’ Joe Columbo’s work. A little unfair I think.

  • Katarina

    hi . . . you boys are suck geeks.

    I love design . . . i love columbo’s but i think ‘Pole’ is gorgeous and sexy . . .
    its new, cold and fresh

    x x x x

  • great! i love the concept….

  • Brian

    Hey all

    I like the lamp.

    It reminds me of the mouth-fiberoptic instrument light thingy my dentist has been using since 1984.

    I like the lamp

  • bollger police

    OMG YOU GUYS R WEIRD. u spend your whole days commenting on this piece of shit pole! who CARES!

  • mass50

    this guy really is a joker – has he ever done anything either
    good or useful? This is a lame reinvention of a not great idea.
    Established should really be more careful with their choice of
    designers, they are starting to unpick all the good work……

  • yoyoyoyoyo

    great! simple but very attractive.
    I used this method to my lampshade but it didn't work. i bend 1cm-diameter rod in helix (spring) shape (diameter 8cm, total high 10cm, helix pitch 4cm). put the light source at the base and hope the light will reach the other end. but apparently the light only reach the first circle (pitch). is there a secret technique to make the light reach the end? or it is impossible to reach because i made to many turns and the rod is too long. is there specific light for this method?

    thanks very much ^^
    btw it is really cool!