Five playfully oversized lamps, reflecting various eras and centuries of innovation in Manchester, have been built in Piccadilly Place as part of plans to revamp the piazza. Ranging from 3.4m to 6m tall, the lamps have been designed by local art and design studio Acrylicize.
Inspired by the famous Sir Robert Peel quote, "What Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow", this public art honours Manchester’s illustrious past whilst optimistically looking towards the future. Each of the five installations marks a significant local historical innovation, its time period echoed by the lamps distinctive design style; Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Mid Century, Victorian and Contemporary.
A visual narrative of motifs and graphics are cleverly woven into the shades of each lamp to represent different stories of different eras. The honeycomb design lattices across the 1950s bedside light denotes the famous Mancunian Worker Bee mantra whilst the green canopy of the banker's desk light is decorated with the scrambled code inspired by Alan Turing’s cracking of the Enigma code.
As well as providing lighting, the lamps offer shelter and seating and incorporate electric heaters for the winter months. They are complemented by new landscaping and paving plus bold floor graphics and colourful patterns within the tunnel entrance. "We hope that the lamps will bring people together and provide a lasting legacy to the city," says James Burke, Founder of Acrylicize. "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."