Design Loop Reality: Cork Disco Ball

Within the past week, I have settled on an idea for the Upcycle Project: a used wine cork lighting fixture. This idea originated from several ornamental cork balls I found online, as shown below the images below. I like the spherical organic shape with the different coloured stained wine corks. The addition of a light bulb is my own idea. The idea of a cork disco ball incorporated the shape and material I wanted, while simultaneously including an electrical and functional component. My idea is illustrated in the figure titled “Sketch: Cork Disco Ball”.
Unleashing My Creativity: Cork Ball Decoration
Jan Elftmann Creation
Sketch: Cork Disco Ball

To create the lighting fixture, I need a transparent structure to house to the light bulb and to glue the corks to. For example, a glass fish bowl or plastic plant terrarium. The corks will create interesting shadows around the room. To seal the opening in the bowl, I will make a mesh grid of wire, allowing the cord of the light bulb to pass through.

Sketch: Disco Ball Exterior

One major issue for this project is sourcing material. Corks are discarded in restaurants all the time, but rarely do they collect them before trashing them. So far, I have called the following restaurants about collecting corks from them, but many say it is too much of a hassle to collect them for me. There are several sites that sell used corks, but I would prefer to collect them on my own.

Sketch: Sourcing Materials Restaurant List

All in all, I expect my design loop to look something similar to the following diagram. The ideation and concept generation phases have been the most time consuming so far. I look forward to the manufacturing part of the design process.

Diagram: Design Process
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9 Comments. Leave new

  • Katherine Yarnell
    May 6, 2017 12:47 pm

    Cool idea! I’ve never seen one of those before. I’m curious how the lighting is going to look with the cork sphere. It sounds like a neat aesthetic.

  • Each of this method has a success rate of its own and has actually been even working well for

  • I really your project, it came together very nicely. It was also great that you were able to iterate on your project idea. Maybe you could replace some of the corks with Christmas lights so you could still get your disco ball effect! But it’s very well done and made something aesthetically pleasing out of useless old wine corks!

  • Levi Cortright
    February 19, 2017 4:52 pm

    I like the abundance of sketches, it makes the loop a lot clearer. Your loop allows for changes and iteration, mine was a little too linear. The complexity of the process could get in your way, but as long as you avoid that you should find a lot of success.

  • Maxfield Scrimgeour
    February 19, 2017 1:38 pm

    I really like the idea behind this project. I like the idea of collecting the corks from restaurants around the area and putting them to use instead of just seeing them go in to the trash. It will be interesting to see this project come together.

  • Cyron Completo
    February 14, 2017 5:12 pm

    Excellent idea! I’m interested in seeing the how to light is projected from the ball after you finish. It’s a very creative aesthetic!

  • This is a very creative idea. Your design loop is a very intense process, because there could be lots of different bumps in the road. I am excited to see how this turns out. Did you come up with this on your own or have you seen it somewhere?

  • I like that your loop has flexibility do you think that having so many branches and minor loops could cause you to stagnate and taking a step forward. You clearly got it done! so props for not falling into an endless pit of iterative thinking!

  • This is a great idea. Even the cork ball without the light feature is a great aesthetic. The difficult part will most likely be incorporating the glass or plastic ball around the outside of the bulb. Can’t wait to see the finished product.


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