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Blowing out the light: The Surface Tension Lamp

Some people have the darnedest ideas. Then they make them real. This light is one of them.

Surface Tension Light via Designfront

The ‘Surface Tension Lamp’ is like an illuminated bubble blower. When the light is turned on it creates continuous bubbles that grow and pop, grow and pop …

Say what?

Surface Tension Light from Booo Studio

The idea came about when Dutch design group Booo! Studio challenged three designers to create innovative lamps using LED technology. The three-woman Swedish design group, Front, came up with this lamp that is so original it pretty much blows your mind (sorry, for the pun!). This is what they say about their creation:

“A bubble is brief, and bursts at your touch. But while it lasts, it catches the light and reflects the room like a multi-coloured temporary structure. We wanted to create a constantly changing lamp that combines the most ephemeral of lampshades with an LED light source that will last for 50,000 hours. In the time it takes the LED to burn out, the lamp will have had 3 million different globe shades.”

With the help of electrical designer, Göran Nordahl, they were able to make their idea reality, and here’s what he says about the materials he used initially:

“I made the first version out of found parts e.g. an insecticide bottle, a small laptop fan, a tiny model servo, an adhesive furniture glide and an extra furry black pipe-cleaner. The new improved version is more robust and contains nice 3D printed parts and a much more powerful LED.”

The first prototype was shown at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2012 and then, this year, was nominated by the London Design Museum for a Design of the Year.

It didn’t win but if you happen to be in London you can see the lamp in person along with the other design nominees until July 7.

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