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Prix Voltaire

Studio Willem Schouten was proud to be commissioned with the design of the Prix Voltaire Award. This award is awarded to "Individuals fighting for innovation and development, against dogmas or modern institutions just like the French philosopher Voltaire did."  The winner of this lovely award this year was the amazing David Katz and his great initiative "The Plastic Bank". An initiative to stop ocean plastic waste, help alleviate poverty & encourage the regeneration economy. 

In the design of this award, Studio Willlem Schouten wanted to embody the values of Voltaire in a literal sense by shedding light, but even more in a poetic way. The Cube shape as used a light source is one of Plato’s solids. The Greek philosopher wrote about the solids in the dialogue Timaeus c. 360 B.C in which he associated each of the four classical elements (earth, air, water and fire) with a regular solid.  According to Plato, the cube shape represented the earth. In a day and age that our planet is more and more in danger of decaying, I hope that this award can not only function as a light source but also as an inspiration for a new – durable- direction in which the interests of our planet and it’s inhabitants are the most important ingredient in the given answers.

The cube shape is also one of the most basic and well-known shapes to man, but still beautiful when used in a new function. Because the wireframe of the lamp changes perspective when looked upon from different angles, I hope this award inspires the winner to look at modern day problems in a new way, challenging them to view them from different perspectives. True enlightenment and change can only be achieved with an open and flexible mind that has the ability to shift perspective and approach problems from new directions.

Want to know more about the "Prix Voltaire International"? Click here. For more info on the Plastic Bank and David Katz, please click here

Year: 2019

Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 42 CM

Material: Walnut / Goldplated Aluminium / LED

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