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Art or design? Johannes Budde blurs the lines with LITE

The LITE light installation and its “floating candle” playfully explores the limits of physics and breaks with our conditioned viewing habits

An industrial glass, a sandstone base and a “floating” candle are brought into experimental harmony with LITE, a creative light installation by German designer Johannes Budde.

Subverting expectations when it comes to traditional lighting design, the sconce-style lamp combines a large sheet of wired glass, a type of glass into which a wire mesh is embedded during production, with a single candle.

Budde’s material palette is unique in the way it combines raw substances with modern building materials.

@ Johannes Budde

The wired glass was sourced from a German glass manufacturer and upcycled to become part of the project.

Meanwhile, the natural sandstone is locally sourced from a family-owned business to minimise the transportation in gathering other materials

Budde cuts and files this stone to create the cube-shaped feet into which the sheet of wire glass is placed.

@ Johannes Budde

Finally, a tailored screw connection with a pointed stick is inserted into the centre of the glass sheet to provide stability for a candle, which appears to levitate in front of the glass as the attachment is not visible from the front perspective. 

LITE, lighting as art

Art is subjective — just because something is called art doesn’t necessarily mean it has artistic value to all people. In the case of conceptual, well-designed lighting like LITE, the lines between what is art and what isn’t are blurred even further.

LITE _ Floating Candle by Johannes Budde _ Cover
@ Johannes Budde

Beyond its beautiful form, which is reminiscent of antique sconces, is a unique function that encourages users to manually light the candle.

Ironically, this works against the “no touching” rule when it comes to art but makes for a more intimate relationship with the product. 


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