Gravity Lamp

Reconstrained DIY #1

The Gravity Lamp and Gravity Turntable represent a humble beginning in a new direction—a step beyond the utilitarian solutions exemplified by the gravity batteries. Consumers have been programmed for sleek, seamless products far too long to accept the raw (non-designed) DIY style overnight. The aim was to play to design’s current fascination with the superlative object—by attempting such an object, but using only material elements found on our small remote island.

We began with designing a Gravity Lamp; in this case the falling mass, cast in concrete using local black volcanic sand, doubles as the source of light. The tall wooden structure, necessary to extend the duration of the fall (and hence available light) was constructed from acacia, logged in the cool rainy hills near our institute. Everything was prototyped in our workshop through several iterations until functionally proficient and aesthetically acceptable.

Collecting black volcanic sand from the Praia Formosa in Madeira | © James Auger
Casting the concrete with embedded phosphor bronze connectors | © Julian Hanna / James Auger
Cast concrete loaded with lead shot acts as both the falling mass and the lampshade | © Julian Hanna
Planks of Acacia sourced from the hilly north of the island | © Julian Hanna / James Auger
Completed Acacia middle ring | © Julian Hanna / James Auger
Detail of assembly | © Julian Hanna / James Auger
First assembly in the workshop | © Julian Hanna / James Auger
First assembly with the lampshade | © Julian Hanna / James Auger
Close up of concrete lampshade | © Julian Hanna / James Auger
Gravity Lamp on display at the CCCB Gallery | © Julian Hanna