We, the 21st century dreamers, city lovers, urban nomads, were left with no choice but to live in smaller and smaller spaces as we populate big cities. According to World Urbanization Prospects by United Nations, 54 per cent of the world’s population today are living in urban areas. It is projected that overall urbanization growth could add another 2.5 billion people (66 per cent) to urban populations by 2050. (1)
There has been a tremendous growth of multi-functionality in contemporary furniture. The restrictions we faced in micro-living motivated us to rethink and hack our conventional furniture to serve our activities and needs. Lighting design on the other hand may have been neglected albeit its vital role in a living space. It is also an indecisive and frustrating process, as a consumer, to buy different lamps for the sake of different lighting moods. Wouldn’t it be great if one lamp (which has the capability to perform lighting for task, ambience atmosphere, spot focus, visually striking enough to be decorative and maybe set a party mood too) is all we need? Well, the solution to the dream is the emerging lighting technology – OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diod)
. That means we have this lighting panel which is flexible, bright yet dimmable with no glare, color-tunable as well and, thin as paper. The real question is what can we do with such technology. Curious for more info on OLED, go here
Meanwhile, we are head to head with the phenomenon of flatness
and the paradox of mastery and autonomy. We want to take charge of our environment but, admit it, we are lazy sometimes. We don’t want to be stuck in the situation where we kept tapping or swiping on a flat screen, figuring out what went wrong with it. We want to be able to feel the changes we made with out hands. Perhaps once functions are in seamless transition between analog and digital, we may have possibly created a successful design product.
Before discovering about OLED, I had a vision that the lamp needs to be in a convex surface and a concave form. Initial concept is a pregnant bulb, adjustable to hide under the lamp shade, peek out a little and fully bulge. I then got greedy. I wanted it to be able to shine in different direction. Pivoting lamp shade and light bulb! So that the angle and the mood of the light can be controlled. Manually. At this moment, I pondered if the energy can be used more efficiently (along with the technical feasibility) and wondered about the possibility of the lamp shade being a lighting option as well. Later, I figured that I have complicated the idea when i can have a flat lighting panel on pivots. Nostalgically, it resembles a makeup mirror. However, in this model, I lost both the quality of diverging and engulfed light. FLEXIBLE OLED! That is the answer to flexing the flat lighting panel. Going back to the pendant arm, I experimented with a few sketch models to explore the possibilities of achieving the desired lighting qualities.
The eponymous name is inspired by the wide brim floppy hat. As intuitive as it can be, user simply bends the lamp to shape a concave character to have the light focus on one spot; pushing the edge upwards will provide a diverging form which lights up a larger area. The lamp can remain flat in its original position for general lighting. User can be playful too and be creative with the configurations of the lamp shade, within the ability of the multi directional shape retaining polymer. The notion of being able to give an object a personal remake and creation allows the object to breathe a longer life as well as keeping the spatial aesthetic constantly refreshing. The constant interaction with the object builds up the relationship with the user as a living companion fulfilling the flexible needs of its master. Throughout the entire ideation process, I am conscious of creating a holistically flexible system, which resulted to the flexible pendant arm and extendable cable. With shape memory alloy, the arm of the lamp is flexible too while being able to retain the changes imposed. Flexibility on the arm allows user to direct the light towards specific area to light up. The lamp arm is detachable in two points by twisting and pulling apart. The effortless gesture is aided by a pair of spring-loaded ball bearings. Within the arm lies an extandable fabric braided cable, which allows user to take the lamp along with them like a torch up to 2 metres and retractable by pulling the cable once again.
Shall I introduce you the ideal lamp for urban dwellers!
will take you into the journey of materializing the idea.
1. World’s Population Increasingly Urban with More than Half Living in Urban Areas. (10 July 2014). United Nations. New York. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/world-urbanization-prospects-2014.html