Artecnica’s Phrena lights @ dedeceplus

Artecnica’s Phrena lights @ dedeceplus



Phrena Pendant Lamp by Karl Zahn for Artecnica  –

Currently in stock at

Upon manipulation this perfectly flat light fixture transforms into a beautiful 3-D shade. Created from the “simplicity of opening a book, the pages of this light work together to create perfect symmetry.” Artecnica’s use of white tyvek once again creates a glow and adds warmth to any environment.

Available in either a pendant or table lamp, the white tyvek shade provides a warm, even glow to any area



Thanks to the popularity of the first Phrena light, Artecnica requested a smaller table version. Using the same resiliant Tyvek material and honeycomb structure, this lamp opens to 16″ in diameter and comes with the new gold plated wire base. It still packs flat like its older brother, but the Phrena2 can be used as a both a table and a pendant light.


Karl Zahn is a freelance product designer living in Brooklyn NY.

He created the website as a platform to display his products and explorations in their own venue. All of the products are the work of Karl Zahn, however not all of them are in production.

Like a lot of socially responsible young designers these days, Brooklyn-based Karl Zahn is trying to walk the line between cottage industry and making himself a household name.

Over the past few years he has gone from building furniture and product prototypes on his own to working with large manufacturers—it’s a leap that most designers dream of making, but one that also requires a different mindset.

“Most of the products I previously designed were actually made by myself and I had complete control over every aspect of it,” said Zahn. “For mass-market products, there is no way to have the same amount of control, and you have to be comfortable with that.”

So far, giving up a little control has only worked to his advantage.

In its fall 2009 and spring/summer 2010 collections, LA-based design company Artecnica released the designer’s Phrena pendant and table lamps with flat-packed Tyvek shades that unfold into flowerlike forms inspired by globe amaranths.

A native of rural Vermont, Zahn said in an interview that he sees his lifelong fondness for plants and animals emerging in his work. “I have grown more comfortable designing things that I appreciate, rather than what I think other people will want,” he said, although increasingly he’s doing both.

This newfound confidence will likely be seen in several soon-to-be-revealed collaborations with New York–based manufacturer Areaware, including Zahn’s Hakomono wooden animal containers, which should launch this year.

The pieces reflect Zahn’s continued interest in fabrication, which he traces back to his father’s woodworking shop.

He followed the interest while concentrating in fabrication and manufacturing at Rhode Island School of Design from 1999 to 2003, and during his subsequent time in Copenhagen studying Danish furniture design.

“I suppose it would be easier if I were only interested in designing cars or chairs, but I would rather experiment with as many products and materials and techniques as possible,” he said. For now, the difficulty of getting things made in the U.S. is part of the reason he builds his own prototypes.

“But I would much rather work closely with a craftsman,” he said. “In my dreams I draw a sketch on a napkin and a little factory makes me prototypes.” And that’s a craftsman with ambitions.

Jennifer K. Gorsche

Share your thoughts