Rejuvenation Lighting approached a few students from my PNCA Applied Craft & Design program for a project combining their design aesthetic with our studio practices. The four students selected—myself included in that group—met with their design staff over a period of a few months, learning about Rejuvenation’s design processes, business ethics, and cultural stewardship. The project concluded with each of us designing and prototyping a lighting unit, combining everything we had learned.
From the beginning, I was drawn towards LED lighting. There is so much momentum for a conversion away from incandescent lighting, but so much of the magic of Rejuvenation’s aesthetic lies in the romance of that dimly lit filament. I find the same kind of romance with circuit boards, but all too often the beautiful elements of digital objects are buried beneath cladding and covers. It was a perfect opportunity to honor Rejuvenation’s ethic, re-examine our digital future, and reduce our material consumption.
I picked one of Rejuvenation’s fixtures—the Grand View—and mimicked its silhouette for the contour of the bulb. The plan was to use the circuit board to replace the lamp shade as a move to reduce even more materials.
The final bulb had two versions—one with the light facing downwards, the other with the light facing upwards. Having a directional light bulb was a move to keep the diodes from shining directly in the user’s eye. If it’s on a pendant light, it faces up. If it’s a desk lamp, it faces down towards the desk. Keeping everything exposed forces every component on the circuit boards to have an aesthetic decision behind it. This serves to cut down on material usage, but things like diffusers for the diodes end up on the non-essentials list.