The Wool Challenge: David Trubridge's Wool Lantern

At Idealog, we regularly celebrate our design community's brilliance. Admittedly, we also get a twisted sort of pleasure out of making our annual design challenge harder and harder each year – but that’s because we want to ensure the community continues to think outside the box. Thanks to our friends at Icebreaker, we sent out a box of very raw wool fibre to some talented humans in a range of design disciplines and tasked them with recreating an everyday object using wool. Here’s what furniture designer David Trubridge up with – a lantern made of wool and hemp. 

"For this design challenge we were asked to reinvent an everyday product using fine merino fibres, a by-product of the New Zealand wool industry.

We were immediately inspired by the material qualities of the merino fibres, particularly the potential for these to be used to diffuse light.

We were eager to design a light using these fibres as a natural diffuser and sought to retain the natural feeling of wool in the finished piece. For this reason we chose to use the fibre as is and combine them with other natural materials to create structure.

We chose to use bamboo to build a structural skeleton to define the shape of the light.
Drawing from the studio’s experience creating modular kitset products, we created a simple form of naturally curving bamboo spines.

From this base form we created a template outlining the gently curved surfaces to be applied to the exterior. We use some translucent hemp fabric (from Hemptech NZ) to the wool fibres contained within this form.

We stitched layers of fabric together carefully encasing thin sheets of merino fibre between each layer and leaving pockets for the bamboo spines to be slipped in.

This entire lamp could be rolled up and shipped as a modular kitset product. The final design showcases the qualities of the merino fibres alongside other natural materials and celebrates New Zealand materials and lifestyle."

Designers: Peter Nasielski and Simon Fremy.

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