the Lamps: Urchin
The Urchin Lamp is both geometric and organic. It's pieces are flexible, and bent into rigid shapes to maintain its form. The materials are subtly translucent, hinting at the lamp's internal structure. They cast a shadow pattern on nearby walls and ceilings that mirrors the repetition and variation in their form.
The goal of this project is to pre-sell enough lamps to cover the cost of tooling for our dies, and to purchase the PLA material in bulk. Because of the shift from laser-cutting to die-cutting, we are able to offer our lamps for significantly less than we do now on the Fabripod website. The following photos show reward price (and which reward number) for each of the lamps in both KIT and FULLY ASSEMBLED versions. Don't hesitate to contact me with questions.
The Urchin lamps are made from materials you can trust. The wood material is 2-ply birch veneer - thin enough to be translucent but strong enough to hold its shape. It's made by a family-owned mill in Michigan. They grow the trees, harvest them, peel the veneer and lay it up all in-house.
The white plastic material is PLA: bioplastic made from corn. The PLA material is biodegradable - but it will only break down in the high temperature and humidity of a compost pile. We have tested the PLA against a standard petroleum based plastic - polystyrene - by leaving them exposed to the elements, outdoors in direct sun and rain for nearly 5 months.
Surprisingly, the PLA shows almost no change after exposure, and fared better than Polystyrene, which became brittle and cracked. Needless to say, we can't recommend leaving the Birch veneer out of doors for 5 months.
The Urchin lamps were inspired by patterns that grow on sea urchins, found here on the Pacific coast and on beaches everywhere. Like living things, the urchin lamps take a variety of forms, while always being derived from the same basic pattern - their “design DNA”. The design also speaks to mid-century modern style with clean, basic shapes and a reliance on the intrinsic beauty of high quality materials.
The Urchins are available as fully assembled lamps, ready to hang in your house. They are also offered as kits, packed flat to reduce both shipping cost and impact on the environment. The idea of assembling your own has a certain appeal for some: a fun challenge, a puzzle.
Assembly is certainly not for everyone but can be done in a couple of hours, and makes the lamp really something that's yours. Also it's fun to do it with friends!
To make the rewards list simpler, each of the Urchin lamps offered here includes only one hardware option: a 12 foot long pendant cord. The cord ends in a plug, and includes a hook for hanging the lamps from the ceiling. For those who want more options, accessories can be found on the fabripod website. If you make your purchase at the same time you become a backer, We can send your hardware accessory together with your urchin.
Canopies: If you want to hard-wire your lamp to an electrical box in the ceiling, you will need a canopy kit. Standard canopy kits are available on the fabripod website and other lighting sites like build.com. You will need to be comfortable dealing with electrical wiring (or hire an electrician) to install a canopy kit.
Floor and Table Stands: The Urchin lamps are designed to fit standard attachments for floor and table stands, If you have a stand in mind, it will probably fit. You can message us with the specs and we will confirm, or in some cases make a custom adapter. Stands are also available on the fabripod website in black or brushed nickel finish.
Risks and challenges
This project is all about sourcing. We will be custom-machining the dies for stamping out parts. We are also depending on large shipments of custom made wood veneer and PLA plastic sheets for our raw materials. We have worked back from a shipment date of December 15th, giving ourselves a month for materials to arrive and two weeks for production, plus an additional two week buffer. A glitch in die manufacturing or material shipments could delay production but we are confident that all of the urchins will arrive at their destinations (at least in the US) before Christmas.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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