Replacing the Light Bulb with a Bubble
Dutch design company Booo! Studio asked Swedish design group Front to create two pendant lamps: a special edition and a production model (costing under 100 euro to make) that share an interesting approach to design. The Surface Tension Lamp was the “special edition” offering.
Designed by Front, the lamp has no bulb in the traditional sense, but, instead, spews a constant chain of bubbles, each of which pops at the touch before being replaced by the next in line.
The Surface Tension Lamp embraces design as a process.
A bubble is brief, and bursts at your touch. But while it lasts, it catches the light and reflects the room like a multi-coloured temporary structure. Seeing the bubble as the most ephemeral of lampshades, the designers have created a lamp that changes constantly.
A LED light source embedded in the base of the fixture emanates light which is caught by the expanding bubble and reflected throughout the room. Though the bubbles are alike, sharing nearly identical formal properties and undergoing the same morphogenic process, they are, nevertheless, different and, thus, subtly modulate light from one to the next.
“We wanted to create a constantly changing lamp that combines the most ephemeral of lampshades with an LED light source that will last for 50000 hours. In the time it takes the LED to burn out, the lamp will have had 3 million different globe shades”