this is the 'mayday' lamp, by konstantin grcic, a designer i like very much. i received the book 'kgid' (konstantin grcic industrial design) as a gift just before beginning my degree in product design, and it was very influential and inspiring for me.
one of his most well known designs is 'chair one', which i absolutely love (and will almost certainly do a blog post on soon). heading to his website i found a few interesting things about the light (which are also in the book): the first is the origins of the word mayday, and the second about his design process. Both are below, the most interesting part for me being his first line about him designing it.
Mayday ... Mayday ... were the famous last words before the Titanic sank. The S.O.S. call originates from the French 'm'aider' (engl. 'help me').
I designed the MAYDAY lamp to be a tool. It has a practical handle which incorportates the ON/OFF switch and two spikes to wind up the 5 meter long cable. A big hook on the end of the handle comes in helpful to install the lamp wherever needed. The big white funnel is at the same time reflector and protector. Its smooth polypropylen plastic gives off a warmly diffused light and is strong enough to absorbe any bashing. MAYDAY is not designed for anywhere in specific. It rather comes in handy in all sorts of expected/unexpected situations: Taking it to the garage for work underneath the old Mercedes Benz. Taking it to the garden where it can hang from a tree. Using it on top of a ladder or lying on the floor trying to get the cat from behind the cupboard. Kids love MAYDAY inside their self-made cardboard house. I have one next to my bed for late night reading. Another one sits by the front door of my apartment ... just in case.
available in a few colours, my favourite is the orange one i have featured pictures of here. everything about it is great, from looks to function. like any good tool, it does exactly what it needs to do perfectly. produced by/for flos, the best price i have found is £67, which for such a versatile lamp and design classic is not too bad!
link to konstantin grcic