Tel Aviv’s Nir Meiri recently unveiled Marine Light – a curious lamp shade made entirely of seaweed wrapped around a spindly metal frame.
Eaten by coastal people all over the world and prized for its gelatinous and nutritional properties (see bottled algae superfood), and its use is being investigated for seaweed as biofuel, marine algae is harvested for everything from dental moulds and wound dressings to deserts.
But we’ve never seen a seaweed lamp shade before.
“Ancient cultures have appreciated and utilized seaweeds for different uses,” Meiri says on his website.”Today, seaweeds are cultivated and harvested on a commercial scale, as a result of a growing interest driven by environmental concerns.”
Meiri encloses the shade’s metal frame with seaweed that is still wet, according to the designer. Then, once it dries, the marine algae shrivels down and conforms to the shade’s shape.
Once dry, he applies a preservative to the seaweed so that it doesn’t completely rot or flake off; the resulting lamp shade produces a luminescent glow that brings the sea indoors.
“Through the unconventional use of seaweed as a main material for a domestic environment, the product plays on the tension between the artistic and the commercial,” says Meiri.
Materially, the Marine Light is a sensible environmental choice as well since there are no algae shortages in the world and it reproduces very quickly.
This is the second funky lamp we’ve featured this week. If you haven’t already seen it, check out this clever lamp powered by the kinetic energy of shifting sands.