Object 3, a timeless table lamp, is intended to produce a design that is honest and whose shape is defined by its material and manufacturing processes. It is composed of a single sheet of pre-cut powder coated steel, a lighting cord, and a lightbulb. The object is shaped and structured through a steel form and energized through the lighting elements. The design of Object 3 is comprised of all necessary elements of a lamp in a singular piece of steel: the base, the body, and the shade. This contemporary design enforces a sustainable product from start to the end. The design aims to introduce the user or buyer into the creation process. The user bends the sheet of steel from the initial 2-D shape to a 3-D form, incorporating them and creating an intimate interaction with the object. This process personalizes the experience for each individual making it both physical and emotional, thus, deepening the connection between product and user.
From the start I wanted to design an interactive object that required the involvement of the user in order to create a stronger connection between subject and object. This would instigate a new approach to an already existing relationship and create a more impactful experience. Hand-bending steel changes our perception of traditional material implications. The design of the lamp makes the process of bending a sheet of steel seem effortless. The light fixture consolidates every part that an archetypical lamp contains. It maintains every component of a table lamp included in a single panel of steel. Eventually that same idea of consolidating all theses parts into one defines the shape and the aesthetic. These design decisions influence how the object illuminates. Making sure the user could bend the sheet of steel at home was a priority. I tested multiple gages of steel sheet metal. The sheet had to be thick enough to maintain the structural integrity but thin enough to bend at the seams by hand. The perforation pattern also presented a structural challenge because these had to be just the right length to hold the overall weight of the lamp. Eventually, the pattern would create luminous apertures at the seams. The cable at the back also had to be resolved. I tested different notches and hooks that could bend out from the neck to hold the cable. I decided on a cut out slot. It makes it more intuitive for users while also adding to the aesthetics. It resulted as the most natural approach. Manufacturing the lamp takes two processes. Each sheet of steel is shaped with a water jet and then finished with a powder coat. The user receives a flat piece of steel and bends it to a functional form. This approach is not often seen in traditional RTA furniture or lighting. Also, the shipping footprint is lessened. Essentially one could ship every component in a large flat envelope. This not only increases profitability, it also increase production rates. Object 3 is sustainable for a few reasons. It requires little machine processing, and the flat design permits easy and lightweight shipping. Also, the singularity in material allows for easier disposing since it does not require disassembly. The design's approach is user friendly and its simplicity makes it timeless. Culturally, a product like this can influence our perspective of the life span of products. It can also influence future products in other design/business sectors.