When life gives you lemons, don’t settle for lemonade; trade them for oranges and make a lamp. That’s exactly the approach Krill Design took. The Italian startup has remixed the age-old saying and brought it to life with Ohmie, the world’s first fully circular lamp made from orange peels.
Two Sicilian oranges are used to create each Ohmie lamp in Krill Design’s three-step process. To transform the fruit into a workable material, the peels are dried, ground to a powder, then compounded into a 100% natural orange polymer. The lamp is constructed using the new material — which is also compostable — through 3D printing.
These “new material experiences,” as Krill Design product designer Sofia Duarte Poblete puts it, is only done with true synergy: one with nature but also with research and design. “I think Ohmie is special because it merges technology, design, and sustainability all in one single object,” said Krill Design co-founder and R&D Director Yack H. Di Maio.
The Ohmie features a layered finish with an orange peel-like texture. At 23 cm (about 9 inches), the lamp is great for work spaces or intimate areas with its dimmable, focused light beam providing just the right amount of brightness and intensity needed for writing at a desk or reading in bed.
“We wanted to create a special piece [that is] beautiful and useful as well as sustainable so everyone can have something unique in their home that not only decorates the room but tells a story of revolution,” said Krill Design product designer Victoria R. Schön.
It’s the revolution of design that Schön speaks of. The Milanese company aims to place design at the center of creating a Green Economy, or as its mission states, a “model that combines the need to recycle waste and the creation of the new one by leveraging on circular economy, technological innovation and creativity.”
Food waste is a special focus because of the sheer amount that can be potentially reclaimed. As Krill Design notes, every year 1.3 billion tons of natural materials are tossed away. Krill Design has partnered with numerous companies in the past to turn their trash into eco-design products. This includes a similar orange waste-approach for a home goods collection with beverage brand Sanpellegrino and art object company Seletti. Ohmie is a project created solely by Krill Design and is here for the people.
“We [don’t] just want to make a change in design. We want to make this change beautiful and meaningful,” said Krill Design founder and CEO Ivan Calimani. “We have been developing biomaterials for almost three years helping corporate [companies] be more sustainable in crafting eco-design product for them. It’s time to use our expertise to make a product just for you.”
Although alternative material exploration has been common in the apparel industry, the lamp has actually been a great canvas for imagining what’s possible with bio-based materials. The New York biotech company Evocative Design focuses on designing with mycelium and released a mushroom-based lamp you grow yourself through Kickstarter in 2017. Evocative also raised $60 million USD in funding back in April. Additionally, British designer Mark Howells took a different route, extending the life of used umbrellas and transforming the trashed product into lamps.
Krill Design’s Ohmie is currently live on Kickstarter with an Early Bird option of receiving the orange lamp in November 2021 for €72 EUR, 30% off of the retail price or €99 EUR. You can also read more about Krill Design at krilldesign.net.
In other design news, longstanding material company Ventile introduced two new recycled cotton fabrics.