My project has come a long way from my brainstorming and loose materials into the upcycling design it is now. Below I explain my process and my goals and desires for this project and how I felt I reached my goals or not.
Reality vs. Imagined
My actual process was very different than how I imagined the process to be and also differed from the design process we created in class. I started out how I would normally begin my design process with my other design projects. I began brainstorming multiple ideas of what inspired me and how many creative designs I could make limited by the use of recycled material, but grasping for a solid idea when proposed with the notion that I could create anything I desired. Many people assume that design would be great if we had no constraints and could design whatever and however we want. After going through some design studios in college I have realized that good design generally is just the opposite. Having too much freedom makes something difficult to design, causing the final product to generally be chaotic and not read as a cohesive whole.
My project only became grounded when I established my concept and went from there. I knew along the way I wanted to design a light fixture of some sort, being inspired by photographs online and enchanted by the beauty different lights can make. I am disappointed that there can be so many lights that both perform their function as a light, but create an aesthetic experience as well. I wrote down many ideas of what I thought a light should be. I developed that a light’s function is to bring light to darkness, but the artistic flair was up to me. I have always been drawn toward the idea of not fully disclosing light, but letting it pierce through the darkness. I believe is a romantic idea coming from metaphors and stories. Some of the concepts that I nailed down through my brainstorming were nest, organic, but ordered beauty, and the juxtaposition of light and dark or shadow. I made small sketches as well to visually put down my ideas. From a vague idea of my final design I went to Resource and wandered through the aisles looking for anything that caught my eye or I thought would be an asset to my project. I returned home with a hanging garden planter and some twine. I ran into a problem trying to figure out what light to use. I found a circular LED light at McGuckin’s that I believed would work perfectly due to the reach of the light and the circular formation it was in. I knew I would need a bright light to pierce through the material I was going to cover it with and make an effect. The building part of the process was the easiest. I attached the light with the twine, knowing the twine was so small the light would appear to be attached in the planter in a nonobvious way. I collected sticks outside my house and in the surrounding neighborhoods, deciding to go with the literal interpretation of nest and considering more precedents online. My design grew as my concept developed further and became more defined by the materials I had. I have discovered through my design process in the past that the material really does limit or expand what you are able to do with the design. That was certainly true with this project. The rest of the design unfolded as I solved problem after problem of getting the sticks to lay just so and keeping the design balanced out evenly everywhere. I relied on my eye for design for the placement of the sticks. I tested the light in the dark to see the patterns it would create and my project was complete.
From the design process we created in class I varied a bit, mostly around the multiple prototyping area. I only created one design, due to time restraints and limited materials, although looking back I wish I had done more iterations. In a manner of speaking I did start with a problem, but it wasn’t a defined problem, more the problem was I didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to design. From there I did begin brainstorming and conducting research. My idea phase of the process was pretty similar to the process we created in class as well as what I imagined it would be. Collecting the materials and working with what I had wasn’t a huge part of our idealized design process, but it was a larger defining role in mine. I didn’t iterate like we did in our design process flow, but went straight for the final product. In my ideal design process this would work, but I have learned from experience that your best idea is not generally the first project you make, but evolved and becomes stronger and better after multiple iterations.
This is a new flow chart of my design process for this project:
I was inspired by different form of lights at first and then the bird’s next aesthetic. These are some of the designs I based my own upcycle project off of.
My vision initially was to have a beautiful light source that displayed light around a room in an interesting pattern. I wanted to achieve an interesting shadow pattern on the walls through concealment of light. My artistic goals were to have a light that appeared the way it is described as “light.” I wanted the form to feel as though it were floating and the light were an ephemeral source that created light through nature. I wanted to create a design that was based off biomimicry and invoked a sense of biophilic design. I wanted to use organic shapes and create a sense of balance, order, and beauty, through nature, mimicking the beauty of a bird’s nest in nature.
Achievement of the Functional and Artistic
I believe that my functional goals were achieved. When the lights are off the light gives off a pleasing glow, illuminating the sticks in the design and creating playful shadows on the wall that couldn’t have been created without the sticks. I did not achieve the artistic goal that was in my mind from the beginning. I envisioned a more finished looking project with a softer, more yellow, glow of light illuminating the sticks. The light is a little harsh for what I was going to, but I was limited by my materials as stated before. I thought the empty frame of the plant hanger would be perfect for placing sticks around and giving off the appearance of floating, but it stood out too much against the sticks. It makes it appear clunky and not as light as I wanted it to appear. The LED light is not as hidden as I would have chosen either, wanting the light to be more hidden, giving off the impression that the light was floating within the nest. The aesthetic didn’t turn out exactly the way I envisioned it in the beginning, but I do believe the balance, and harmony was created through my intricate, planned placement of the sticks. It becomes ordered chaos that I was going for as well as achieving the natural, organic look.
I want to hang the lamp up in my room, allowing the light to shine down across my room at night. It is playful and fits the context of my room as well. I also see this model as a first iteration. If I continued upon my design I believe that I would build upon it and get better and better with each iteration. I want to keep it as a design study to see what could be improved in my similar designs in the future. I see it as a learning project to understand how upcycling can create new and beautiful designs with limited materials.
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I love this aesthetic. I think it would be really neat if you somehow incorporated strips of cedar bark into it to either to tie the twigs together or to diffuse the light more (it also smells good!). Nice work!
This looks really cool, like looking at light through a forest canopy. I think the future the light could either be warmer or cooler. This would provide the appearance of either sun or moonlight.
Love how the shadows is cast onto the wall, gives it a very spooky feel.
Cool! Was there a particular reason you chose white lights? I know that warmer yellow light tends to be more natural and maybe a bit more comfortable. That’s a cool shadow effect!
the light is really cool. The shadows so to be very interesting. It’s also good to see that there is some ventilation. Have you thought about a softer light? It could be a little harsh, depending on the activity. Have you thought about painting the white cage to something that might go better with the sticks aesthetic.
I like the rust on the metal structure. It adds a cool little detail. I also like the pattern that the lamp casts; it’s really artsy. What kind of sticks did you use?
The shadows the light creates are incredible! Did you consider using an incandescent bulb to give off a more natural light?
It turned out really well! It looks very similar to your vision and I love the use of all recycled materials.
That creates a really cool lighting effect! To make the light softer you could try putting a cover/screen over the LEDs
Great design! Love the natural look!
Nice work manipulating light and shadow.
Have you heard of or seen the birds nest stadium in China? It’s really cool and very similar.
The light filtered through the branches is definitely a very soothing, natural feel. Love the design!
I like the idea of nature incorporated in the design and the concepts that you lay out at the beginning of the presentation. You were clear about what material you used. Do you want it to spin when its up? I would like to have it more stable. Maybe add some other color lights? Great photography and Photo editing
The light reflected off the walls appears to have a smokey effect–really cool!
I really like the natural smoky look your chandelier creates. What bio-mimicry aspect were you trying to go for? I guess you were trying to copy the natural formation of twigs falling of trees or something like that?
This project turned out really great! The effects the sticks make when the lamp is turned on is beautiful. The photography aspect is a good addition. Maybe there is someway you could make the light itself less visible on the top.
The light pattern is amazing and I really think you captured the shadows and light aspect really well. I wonder if you could add any brighter natural colors or aspects to add to the aesthetic when its turned off?
The light pattern this projects really sells the project. Would be cool if it could plug into a wall/socket.
Like the idea of birdcage/ nest look, and the shadows cast remind me of something from Where the Wild Things Are. Great job and vision.
I thought the birds nest idea was cool to begin with, but the added light and shadows that you are able to create makes it even better! It probably wasn’t what you were going for, but for some reason your final product reminds me of a cool little UFO.
Its really evident that you put a lot of forethought into this project! I appreciate that you thought about how it would look with the light on, and the shadows it would cast.
Really creative, I like the thought that went behind the design process and it was very involved. You could use a warmer light to make it look less artificial.
I like the concept and the lamp is very naturalistic and rustic. I like the randomness of the branches as well. Good job.
I really like the shadows that it casts. I would try to weave even more twigs into this to hide the bird feeder/cage more. To make a softer light you could look at putting a light screen in front of the light or even some light weight colored paper.
I love shadow art, and this is one of those things that looks nice unlit, but has a completely new dimension once the light turns on and we can see what happens to the surroundings.
I like that you put so much thought into the lighting and shadows that the branch casts. I wonder if an incandescent bulb would give a warmer and more even lighting. Really nice job with the photography as well!
This would be fantastic on the set of a movie/video and has tons of potential for photography as well! The pictures your took look really nice.
I like your comments on making light more pleasing. Your lamp creates beautiful shadows and looks rustic yet chic. Nice job capturing your aesthetic!
Really cool I did not expect the results to be so appealing, I think I want something like that in my home.
The diffuse shadow patterns are very natural!
I also like the way you used the concept to drive the design.
You really did a great job of achieving the biomimicry. I love the shadow that it projects. I mentioned it to you the other day, but it would be cool to try and wrap the branches to the frame with twine.
The patterns of the light look really neat – you can find “warm” LEDs that are colored to look more light an incandescent light.
I love your project and how it turned out. I like how you spoke about light and the meaning of it and how you incorporated it in this project. It definitely has a calming effect and very natural.
Awesome lamp! A softer light would definitely add to the natural aesthetic.
I really like the shadow that the nest casts on the walls, maybe consider putting some shade or paper over the light so that it is softer, I think it would have a scroll feel with more yellows and tans and natural colors to go with the shade than the blue of an LED.
The light leaves a cool textured pattern on the surroundings. Good choice on the led white light effect.
I really like your design process and inspiration! I absolutely love the shadows from the light and how it illuminates the sticks in the lamp as well! Overall absolutely beautiful!
Pretty light patterns from the twigs, I love how it looks both on and off.
This would be fantastic on the set of a movie/video.
That looks complicated, I am impressed at how you were will to up in the time for the project. It seems delicate, could you use glue or something to keep the twigs in place without ruining the aesthetic?
Very cool! I like the rust in the white structure. It adds to the overall look with the branches and overall looks very similar to a bird nest. I like the shadow patterns that are created when lit and the fact that you thought about how the shadows would look.
Good job taking the design a step further! It’s cool how you considered how the light spills out of the lamp through the branches in addition to how the lamp looks itself.
Love the concept! It turned out really good too nice work!