As I mentioned in my previous blog, this flow chart shows my process for this project. To recap, I started by deciding to work with toothpicks and doing a quick ideation around things that I could associate with toothpicks. I didn’t really like anything I came up with there and then realized I needed to incorporate an aesthetic. I realized that toothpicks might be perfect to represent the rough design sketch I had researched in my first blog post. I started ideating on that and ended up wanting to make it functional which led me to the lamp idea.
My inspiration for this project came from the rough product design sketches of the ideation phase of design, and these Japanese style paper and wood lamps. I really like the look of these sketches because they are such simple line sketches that can convey complex forms. They are easy and quick to create and an array of sketches, like that shown above, really gives a look into the designers mind. I also like the look of these Japanese lamps and how they create a diffused, atmospheric light. I was looking to create a dimmer diffused lamp for my bedroom when I don’t want the bright overhead lights on.
I began ideating through sketching, to find a lamp form that I would like and that I would be able to make out of toothpicks. Here are some of my sketches:
In the end, I liked the sphere shape. I wanted to create a lamp that had the overlapping ellipses of sketching a sphere as well as a hashed shading as if it were 2D.
Construction and Prototyping:
I started out by trying to make circles out of toothpicks. I ended up with this hexagon shape. I was fairly easy to make and fit well around my LED bulb.
Next I looked to create the “sketchy” feel of overlapping circles, which I thought would also cut down on the angular appearance of the hexagons. I also created a frame for the bulb to fit in by cutting off 1 toothpick from one of the hexagons and gluing in a smaller hexagon in a perpendicular orientation.
Next I glued the two circles together perpendicular to create the “construction lines” of the sketched sphere.
Next, I added the shading.
My frame was done at this point. This was the sketch representation part. Now to move onto the inner paper sphere. I did not put any forethought into making the paper sphere and it turned out to be the most challenging part. I tried a number of different methods, but ended up creating 6 paper cutouts each with tabs to glue to the others; as shown below. I decided the top/bottom circumference I wanted for my sphere as well as the center
circumference. I divided these numbers by 6 to figure out the dimensions of my paper cutouts.
In the end I like the aesthetic of the lamp I created. I would have liked to have a little less angles and more of a curved feel to it, but I think that the overlapping circles helps to create the illusion of a circle. My process for this project was very free flow, much like when sketching. I think that the free sketch-like process I used in construction adds to the aesthetic I was going for. I really just had an idea on paper and just started gluing toothpicks until I figured out a way to make it. Then the paper sphere was very trial and error. I really like the shape it has, I don’t love how you can see the overlap of the glue tabs through the paper when the light is on. If i were to do this again, I would do a little more research into different types of paper and how they diffuse light.
I like the overall lighting that this lamp creates. I was successful in creating a dim, atmospheric lighting for my bedroom. I am still working on developing a way to connect the sphere to the bulb so that it is secure but still removable. I am planning on creating this connection and then mounting it on the wall in my room.