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Magical Tree of

“ Imagination is more important than knowledge. ”

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MAGICAL TREE OF IMAGINATION, with Magis for Design Commune

For Hong Kong’s first International Design Furniture Fair, Design Commune asked us to contribute by re-imagining or re-styling a classic object from one of the participating brands.

We were tasked with adapting “Le Chien Savant”, originally designed by Phillipe Starck for Magis. We decided to keep the design story that Starck had created, but add functionality through a beautiful reading light inspired by the idea of imagination.



We were worried that education in Asia focuses too much on academic performance, turning pupils into walking data banks. While knowledge is doubtlessly indispensable, it is also limited. All great achievements in the history of mankind were driven by a dream beyond the possibilities of their time.

 We wanted to reflect our belief in the importance of imagination in the design for our reading light. The idea for the magic tree of imagination was born and we brought it life using 80 LED lights hidden among 400 pieces of origami. Even the tassel light chord is based on the tassel of a university hat – reflecting the balance of knowledge and imagination.



The magical tree of imagination grows in the head of each and every one of us. We have to nurse it with great dedication and it is my wish to see an education system where stimulating our imagination is not considered a waste of time, but an essential part of growing up.

You may say that I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. :D

A special thanks to the organizers Colourliving and Arrakis Oggetti and my enthusiastic origami assistants Nisha, Yasmine and my lovely wife Paulina.

Photo: Simon J Nicol, © 2015