Cardboard, like reclaimed wood, continues to provide inspiration for materials-minded designers. It's tough but soft, ubiquitous and underrated, and incredibly easy to source. Letting the material drive the object is a similarly tried and true source of both innovation and "innovation." The R16 Lamp project aims to join the shipping durability and lo-fi looks of cardboard in a DIY pendant light.
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The team at Waarmakers, whose designers proudly state that their "package is lamp," are so enamored with shipping tubes that they based the whole design around them. The shipping tube for the self-assembled lamp turns into the housing for the lightbulb. The tube is laser cut and scored, designed to arrive safely while allowing the user to pop out panels for hanging and fitting the bulb.
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The height of the lightweight light is adjustable by a cork at one end of the tube, and the horizontal placement of the bulb is fixed by a pencil or coin.
The bulb is an unremarkable 15 watt Philips LED tube, which is pretty lightweight for output, but probably fine for statement lighting or in work environments with other sources of light. A full day of 15w LED overhead sounds like a headache, regardless of how ecologically minded its packaging design was.
The lamp first debuted in 2016, and has been followed up with a rectangular wooden version called the Ninebyfour.
The lines are lovely, the assembly and adjustment flourishes are fun, and the instructions (.pdf) are neatly designed, but the familiar banal-material-turned-chic falls a little short of exciting. What do we think? Good, bad, eh, or other?