with the much-anticipated upcoming release of the next star wars installment, we’ve seen artists from across the world hybridize the film franchise with everything from greek statuary to sports cars. this latest amalgamation is particularly fitting for designboom, as Y studios — a research company based in san francisco — synthesizes one of the most recognizable star wars weapons with the material and architectural aesthetic of six legendary creatives.

 

the project ‘design x saber’ sees a series of proposed lightsabers designed by Y studios in the style of zaha hadid, charles and ray eames, issey miyake, edith heath and dieter ramsthe project is presented in a collection of videos featuring one designer per episode, alongside a short documentary that illustrates the idea and process behind the work. 

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
the ‘hadid saber’ mimics the curvaceous forms the architect is best known for
all images courtesy of Y studios

 

 

 

‘with the hadid saber, we wanted to explore movement through the form as an idea for designing the hilt. by taking an exoskeletal structure and wrapping it around a chrome metal insert, it gave us a natural grip zone that related directly to the hadid aesthetic. the simple, flowing and always changing curvature draws the eyes around the hilt from all angles, making it a true 360 degree design example.’

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
the hilt is wrapped in a pure white high gloss or satin finish, polished metal chrome, or iridescent blush

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
process sketches for the zaha hadid light saber show the evolution of the design 

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
a 3D model of the imagined light saber design of architect zaha hadid 

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
a 3D-printed prototype has been made of the zaha hadid model

 

 

 

‘we have great respect for miyake’s passion for using technology to explore new materials, processes and fresh ways of constructing a piece of garment. his famous bao bao bag is exemplary of this innovative thinking. the miyake saber drew inspiration from this intriguing form study of how different pieces come together to create an interesting form that looks rigid but flexible to the touch at the same time. in a similar way, the hilt is an almost circular shape made of facets with the little intersections between the pieces becoming grippable areas when you hold it. the overall curvature of the miyake saber also honors the iconic form of a japanese katana sword. we took the liberty of using the curved blade to become the plasma on the miyake saber. on the blade is the aurebesh characters for ‘jedi knight’.’

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
the issey miyake saber takes cues from generative geometry, graphical patterns, and samurai swords

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
a dark cool palette with metallic facets defines the handle of the saber 

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
process sketches show the reference to the bao bao bag by japanse designer issey miyake

 

 

 

‘the eames saber was very much inspired by the eames’ mastery over material and form, as evident in their work on the iconic eames lounge chair made of plywood and leather. the high quality construction of the eames lounge chair provided an intriguing idea to how we can translate the use of bent plywood and leather into a hilt design. their exploration of materials also resonated deeply with how we approach design at y studios. we do a lot of upfront research on the appropriate application of color, material and finish in the design development of a product that would be production feasible and suitable for the user.’

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
the eames saber takes cues from mid-century modernism, symmetry and a mastery of materials

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
the hilt features a walnut wood finish, cream or dark sable leather and lack metal in satin or chrome metal

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
process sketches of the eames light saber shows the reference to the designers’ iconic seating

 

 

 

‘making something simple is extremely difficult. we imagined dieter would want his rams saber to have a clean, minimalist form that is highly functional and super durable looking. with the hilt design, we took something basic as a rectangle and gave it soft contours that made it somewhat comfortable to hold. the simple form and minimal details provided the visual balance that captured the essence of rams’ design principles.’

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
the ‘rams saber’ features simple contours, clean lines, softened edges and a visual balance

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
the tool is imagined in high gloss plastic, matte or satin aluminum and an orange accent color

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
process sketches indicate the evolution of the ‘rams saber’

y studios design x saber star wars zaha hadid issey miyake dieter rams designboom
the six light saber designs pay homage to some of the world’s most renowned creatives 

 


a short documentary on the ‘design x saber’ project
video courtesy of Y Studios