Avant-garde lampshades

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 January, 2010, 12:00am

Designers are giving lampshades an avant-garde makeover. With versions made of pierced disposable plastic spoons and polka-dot and punched polypropylene - there's even one that knits itself before you go to sleep - it seems as if there's no end to ideas when it comes to transforming the lampshade into a highly decorative conversation piece.

London-based designer Daisuke Hiraiwa ( debuted two whimsical lampshades last year; his Stamen piece is made from 12,500 toothpicks while Petals is essentially plastic spoons punctured by a solder- ing iron. Both are designed to give off a soft glow.

Polish designer Agnieszka Lasota ( took inspiration from native folklore to create the Wreath Project lamp: 130 metres of silk ribbon tied into 120 knots around a wire spiral construction.

Italian brand Kartell ( recently unveiled its Tati lamp (above right), made of transparent polycarbonate in opaline or black. When it's off, it looks like a functional, everyday lampshade. Switched on, the surface gives off a light of adjustable intensity that illuminates the entire piece.

Artemide's ( Edge 30 Suspension is a futuristic cube lampshade that hangs from the ceiling. Created by Alessandro Mendini, the piece filters fluorescent lighting - that scourge of any home environment - through a polypropylene diffuser to produce a soft and subtle light.

Polypropylene appears to be in vogue among lampshade design- ers. British duo Arash and Kelly ( in 2008 re- leased their ZiPP lightshade, so named because the way in which the flower-shaped shade is 'zipped' determines its shape, so its appear- ance is changeable. Late last year, the company introduced a special-edition ZiPP, this time in multicolour- ed polka dots, which was auctioned for charity.

And, just for fun, there's the Sleeping Beauty lampshade (above left) by Dutch designer Nadine Sterk ( Inspired by living organisms, the lamp 'grows' when it's turned on. A ball of yarn attached to a machine rotates to 'knit' the lampshade, stopping only when the switch is turned off.



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Avant-garde lampshades

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