The only thing more abundant than sun in the Middle East and North Africa is sand. Used in the production of Markus Kayser’s 3D printer and to make Algerian building bricks, sand is useful for a host of applications – including lighting. Danielle Trofe designed a series of new sustainable lamps that are literally powered by shifting sands.
Like a small hourglass, Trope’s lamps trickle sand through a glass vessel, marking the passage of time. But the kinetic energy generated by the process also generates just enough power to spark an embedded LED light bulb.
Unlike normal lamps that switch on and stay on, unless they are digitally pre-programmed to switch off, these lamps are interactive. Every time the lamp runs out of sand, it is necessary to flip the lamp to start the process again.
In part this helps to generate some awareness of what it takes to keep the lights on, and in a city like New York that never dims, one lamp multiplied can have an incredible cumulative impact.
The four foot Hourglass Floor Table Lamp is suspended and rotates on a hinge that makes it easy to flip when the sand runs out.
The smaller, table version that is designed a little differently to accommodate the light bulb, is nonetheless built with the same principle.
And both are infinitely cool – not just in concept but in execution. Flawless.