About this project
What is Orrery Lamp?
Orrery Lamp is a dimmable, warm light as well as an adjustable, abstract representation of our Earth and Moon orbiting our host star.
By glancing between a companion website and the lamp, users can manually adjust the Earth and Moon around the Sun to correspond perfectly with any moment now or in the near future.
When viewed on screens larger than a phone, users can observe fine-grained astronomical information and can play with the visualization to more intuitively understand the choreography of the Sun, Earth, and Moon over time.
Orrery Lamp is designed and manufactured entirely in Los Angeles, CA, around a small community of designers and fabricators.
• Custom, hand-blown glass diffuser (4" diameter)
• Machined brass
• Walnut wood base
• Cork bottom (for maximum friction)
We're keeping the rewards for this campaign lean and meaningful. Our funding goal is designed to help us ship about 50 lamps of varying size and finish to big picture thinkers around the globe. Choose a reward below to help us introduce Orrery Lamp into the world.
We wanted to create something that celebrated the choreography between the Earth, Moon, and Sun so as to not only light up someone's desk, baby changing station, or living room, but also to juxtapose our struggles as nations, religions, and economies with the simple fact that we're all, to quote Carl Sagan, "on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
Orrery Lamp is the result of 3 years of doodling, researching, prototyping and refining to land upon a cosmic-yet-accessible form factor that anyone would want to invite into their home.
The final prototype was codeveloped with artist and engineer Eddy Sykes, a Los Angeles local and materials expert.
The warm, diffuse light that emanates from Orrery Lamp is the result of a collaboration with industrial designer and glass blower Nate Cotterman, also based in LA.
So, what's an Orrery?
Orreries, or mechanical models of the solar system, became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. In order to effectively illustrate and predict the relative position of planets and moons, most orreries are essentially large mechanical clocks.
The minimal aesthetic of Orrery Lamp is as much a reaction to the "mechanism heavy" orreries of yesteryear as it is an effort to pay tribute to the beauty of general relativity and some of the great cosmological thinkers throughout history.
Behind the lamp
Orrery Lamp is a project by Bobby Genalo, a product designer based in Los Angeles, CA. Though primarily a software designer, Bobby has a habit of creating interactive, tangible products that can serve as playful mental models of living systems. He lives with his wife and historian, Jemma Lorenat, and their son, Kepler.
This lamp is the end result of many conversations and collaborations over several years. I want to specifically cite some friends who have helped push this idea past the "what if" phase and into reality.
• Eddy Sykes, for materials and mechanism prototyping
• Nate Cotterman, for beautiful diffusers
• Jason Calhoun at SoLongSaturn, for shooting / editing the video
• Derek Muro at YouTooCanWoo, for the soundtrack to the video
• Ben Dean, for rendering help and design critiques
• Rune Madsen, for programmatic design guidance
• Humna Khan, for validating some of my naïve astronomical ideas
• Eric Hagan, for early co-doodling and mechanism research
Help spread the word: Download our press kit here.
Risks and challenges
While this is our first Kickstarter campaign, it is not our first experience manufacturing a unique, limited-run product. We have built relationships with vendors in Los Angeles and Pasadena who have the infrastructure to start production in September and are excited about the project.
Shipping costs are still being assessed as we anticipate this product requiring custom foam to prevent the adjustable arms from swiveling en route.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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