Our approach for Knoll Sparrow was to really focus on light itself, and reduce the supporting elements to an absolute minimum. We started designing around the light source - an LED module. It is very small, but powerful - a quite magical combination which we wanted to highlight. One aspect of the powerful LED module is that it produces a lot of heat. To guarantee the longevity of the LED, we have to efficiently manage heat dissipation. The head which houses the LED module is essentially a heat sink. We dove into exploring different types of head designs and eventually settled on the "sun and ray" arrangement. Through various tests of computer heat simulations and actual prototypes all details of the head were refined for best performance and desired aesthetics. We added a handle on the front of the head to invite interaction for positioning the light and adjusting the light output. It is an unconventional gesture, but it makes the interaction extra clear. Frustrated with the on/off/dimming controls of other lights on the market, we designed an intuitive controller with precise four-step action. We then utilized the volume of the handle to house all electronics. Keeping the weight of the head very light was important to allow us to lift it with minimal structure, so the light would appear almost floating in the air. We made the supporting structure conductive thereby eliminating the need for a power cable traveling to the head, further reducing the presence of supporting elements. Our rationalist approach produced an almost diagrammatic essentialness. What emerges is a gesture where the light emitting head perches on an almost immaterial frame, much like a bird on a wire - thus "Sparrow".
For the freestanding base we strived for a minimum footprint, avoiding the typical disc-shaped base. The slim track-shaped base is comfortable to grab for swinging and moving the light, making a swivel mechanism unnecessary. It gives the freestanding light a more agile existence on the desktop.