The Split Stack Lamp is a very interesting lamp design by Roger Borg. To understand the evolution of the Split Stack Lamp, it is best to look first at two earlier bodies of work- the open series, and the flat stacks . The open series marked the first step in pushing neon away from a history of flatness, and shifting it into three-dimensions. These lamps traced the edges of three-dimensional shapes, but had no real solid form beyond the contours of their sides. They had open interiors, and only their edges were delineated. The flat stacks moved further towards addressing a solid three-dimensional shape. By placing individual hand bent neon components atop each other, a larger form emerged, growing from the individual layers. Their contours were determined by the edges and perimeter of each individual cross section. Taken together, the aggregate shape of these layers established the profile of the object as a whole.
In relation, the split stack lamp in particular, and the radial stacks in general, are a synthesis of these two antecedents. At its center resides a dense central core of six vertical tubes which towards the bottom, stretch outward and away from this cluster, trading density for openness. The split stack’s name derives from its split personality, vacillating between the flatness of its arms, and the three dimensionality of its cylindrical core. Additionally, it is a reference to its form, which traces the separation of a single line into two, and then the subsequent cleaving of those branches.
What these lamps share, the open series, the flat stacks, and the radial stacks, is a challenge to a defining aspect of tradition lamps. Whereas their illumination is reliant upon an interior light source concealed and diffused through an exterior, these lamps instead generate light directly from their entire exterior surface. The light is produced and emanates from this external shell; it does not hide behind, rather it stands out in front. The need for an interior bulb is rendered moot. The bulb is now the shape, the shape is now the light.