Lamp Design Project: Day 7

Day 7:

Hello, So we had a great time yesterday at Pumping Station 1, we ended up enrolling in hackerspace with their $40/month "starving artist" membership. It gives us full access to the shop and space 24hrs a day and most importantly exposure to its highly creative members. This place will be a huge resource for us in the future.

Today we did some more hunting, we are still at the stage where we are really trying to wrap our heads around what and how makes a great lamp. We are understand the few necessary components and know need to find places to source them.

So on the Home Depot! One might not think HD would be the greatest place to source lamp parts but I think it will be a good start, plus they are pretty much everywhere. We would like to use parts that are fairly common and off the shelf. Piggybacking off of existing technology and products is good way to test the waters when designing something new for the first time. This approach will allow us to adapt and expand on top of, while ensuring we have a product that is safe and reliable

Home Depot actually has a dedicated lamp section within the Lighting department. Every type of wire, connector, or fiting the average "handy" dad might need to handle some mundane residential lighting. We aren't going to find the nicest components here but it will be a start.

Check it! Our work is done here. Just get a ceramic vase and an old lamp shade and slap this baby together! Haha just joking. We are going to get a little more involved than this, but it just goes to show you, this is not rocket science, people have been making their own lamps for years. But what does distinguish the task lamps we saw at Lightology from a highschoolers hodgepodge ceramic project, is the details. We will be trying to hone in on these details so that we can deliver a product that is simultaneously simple, reliable, easy to make and most importantly a pleasure to display and use.

We also made a trip out the 'burbs to hit up IKEA tonight. The furniture outlet has a fairly large lighting section and I had made a mental note of it last time I had been there.

So I took this picture and then my camera died. Boo, we drove all the way out there and have nothing to show., well not nothing. We ended up looking around for a while and found they had a lot of really approachable LED based lamps. We ended up picking up their DIODER under shelf lighting kit. It is a pretty cool modular system. The camera battery is on charge for the night I will post pictures of the kit tomorrow along with more ideation season notes/sketches.



Top 10 products from 2011 sold at Inventables

2011 was an exciting year for Inventables.  We grew our selection to over 30,000 products.  With that much choice we thought it would be fun to take a look back and see what were the most popular products for desktop fabrication for the year.  Drum roll please...

Glow in the dark, thin, and tear resistant ribbon that can be sewn into garments

Cast sheets good for use in laser cutters

Learns and remembers any shape you give it

Uses tiny micro suction cups instead of adhesive

Stretches to eight times its size without ripping

Optical diffuser film designed to distribute light evenly

Modeling clay that cures to a tough flexible silicone when exposed to the air

Evenly disperse and transmit light from LEDs without visible hot spots

Illuminates without electricty

Low melting point plastic useful for hand molding prototypes

See you next year!

Lamp Design Project: Day 6


Hello again,

I hope you had a nice holiday and are ready for the new year!
Today Fed and I take a field trip and visit the hackerspace, Pumping Station 1!

We were thinking about resources to prototype and build and a friend recommended this place to us. Located just north of us @ Sacremento and Elston, Pumping Station 1 (PS1) is a " collaborative environment wherein people can explore and create intersections between technology, science, art, and culture". It sounded exactly like what we were looking for and heard they had a laser cutter so we were in!

But first, Tacos! from La Finca, a small mexican restaurant across the street.

The PS1 logo, vinyl cut applied to the hallway as you walk in.

The main room is pretty big. We were checking out some soft goods supplies while the officers of PS1 held a meeting.

A classroom for anyone who has something to teach. Here someone is building some sort of CNC

The beginning of the electronics cave

A reprap, a low budget rapid prototyping 3d printer capable of printing its own components. Pretty sweet, complete with day-glow resin on the spool!

We took the time to get trained on the little epilog laser cutter they have.

It works!

More about the trip to PS1 and some ideation we did while were there tomorrow!


Day 5: Ideation

So today we began some actual design work. The iconic post-it-note thumbnail sketch ideation session. The crucial first step is a verbal and visual conversation between Fed and I, documented on these colorful squares. It started in the kitchen while making dinner, we just started talking, and then we grabbed some note pads and pens. The brainstorming process allows us to throw out ideas, anything at all, and bounce it off each other. No matter how wacky or obscure an idea, at this point just get it out, get it down, move on. The more ideas you can generate the better chance one or two of them will be good!

Started on the island

Moved to the ping pong table. Myself, pen in hand.

Fed, putting one down. We used our inspiration mood boards from yesterday to begin to organize our thoughts.

Confetti aftermath. A good ideation session but there will be more!

More thoughts soon,


Lamp Design Project: Day 4

Hello Again,

I apologize for the delay, sometimes the life of a designer can be a little crazy. I work in Garfield Park for the design consultancy, Streng design and Federico is a designer at Radio Flyer in Elmwood Park. At the end of last week and all through weekend I was extremely busy in the office and I haven't had the chance to document any of our process.

At this point in the process we have visited a couple of retail stores, and specialty lighting shops. We've done online research, looking for innovative lamps and peaking trends. At this point we can start to further define the direction we are going to take with this lamp.

I do want to take a moment and define the parameters for this project. We are designing a lamp that is intended for the DIY beginner; that is, a kit that an end user can use to assemble a finished lamp. It will be based on a system that is fairly open sourced, simple in construction and design. We want to create a kit that functions as a lamp but also inspires the user to explore its form, making alterations or hacks fairly easily. We may use cutting edge technology but only if it can be easily approached and grasped.

That being said, some visuals for the night:

Fed and I have assembled 4 theme boards to guide our concept ideation process. We drew key inspiration points together, forming the themes to function as lose aesthetic or stylistic guidelines. The true function and concept for the lamp is yet to be determined but these will serve as our launch pads for now.

white space really embodies purity and simplicity. these forms need not hide behind any hue. simple, timeless

embrace the natural was really based around the integration of materials. take for example, the stool from CB2, beautiful walnut lumber held together with simple steel hardware. use the materials for what they are good for. be true to the materials.

celebrate the mechanism is very similar to the last mood board but it is all about function. breaking down a complicated task into simple mechanisms and really showing them off. show the process and celebrate the thinking that went into it.

pop of color was a visual trend that we find everywhere. Too often design trys to do too many things at once. the things we notice are those which are deliberate and confident. one color, used where needed, highlighting playfulness and a full spirit.

Lamp Design Project: Day 3

Day 3:

Hello Again,

welcome to day 3, the second day of onsite research. Today we are going to a dedicated lighting shop up in River North. A friend recommended Lightology to me for its huge selection, great staff, and museum-like displays

Really nice anodized aluminium task lamps

A very museum-like display showing the range of color temperatures. They had allot of this type of display, very informative and very clear in illustration.

Probably the coolest thing I have seen all year: This bowl and LED's are coated in phosphorus glass, as your hand enters the bath of LED's your body makes the connections lighting up the LED's. Soo cool. This display is worth a trip to this store!

Very fancy, silk chandelier

Rugged Cast aluminum task lamps

Very organic LED array under neath this task lamp.

The ribbon like form this lamp takes is inspiring

A metal mesh chandilier

Check out the Al heat sinks on the head of this lamp, and the wood veneer shade, very awesome look.

Ok, Im headed to IKEA and Home Depot later to look at some hardware.

I will post again soon with some more concise thoughts on all our findings, and our next steps. For now everything new we see is just another reference point.


Lamp Design Project: Day 2

Day 2:

Fed + Dan go to CB2 + Hortons

welcome Today and Tomorrow are going to be devoted to showing some onsite research we are doing to complement the online stuff we are doing. It is the perfect way to re-affirm and discover new ideas, get our hands on some real products, and further develop the landscape we are exploring. When we find inspiration or places on confusion we make notes, to come back to later on in the design process. So sit back and enjoy some pictures and commentary from todays outing.

CB2 near North & Clyborn

A nice little task lamp

Fed in front of a great wall of color, CB2 was a great place to gauge current color trends.

Cool pulley chandelier mechanism

Nice junction of painted steel and wood on this stool

Fun Acrylic flowers!

On to Horton's Lighting across the street!

Interesting task lamps

Awesome light saber-ish hanging lights

This place had allot of ceiling fans and vanities. Not really what we were looking for but still gave a bunch of reference points.

Nice wall mount unit.

These images capture some of the more interesting things we saw on our trip and will help direct use towards a final design that is both on the cusp of current trends and functionally relevant.

So thats it for today! Come back tomorrow, we will be going to a dedicated lighting store and maybe a few others along the way.