Hello Kickstarter crowd, and anybody interested in design and architecture. My name is Sander Bakker, designer and maker. For a few years now, I have been designing lamps. Let me introduce my latest creation: The Blom table lamp.
The shape of Blom relies on the subtle interaction between its leaf-like parts, the way a flower is formed by its petals. Its design is inspired by the process of growth, which underlies the emergence of shapes in nature. Traces of this approach can even be found in the striking grain pattern on the reconstituted wood veneer legs.
A cloth covered cord provides a splash of color and a hint of nostalgia. The modernist design of the “Rompitratta” switch is by legendary Italian designer Achille Castiglioni. He credited the design from 1968 as his proudest.
An innovative assembly design allows for a significant reduction of the shipping size. It is part of a strategy to minimize the environmental impact of the Blom table lamp, which includes prudent use of materials and efficient digital manufacturing. In addition, the packaging is mostly recycled and doubles as the assembly manual.
Materials and dimensions
The white shade part of Blom is made out of High Density Polyethylene, a common and recyclable plastic (recycling code#2). The legs consist of reconstituted veneer wood, which is made in Los Angeles. All electrical components are UL listed.
Blom stands 14” high and has a maximum diameter of 11”. The cord is 6’ long. The dimensions of the box are 4”(h)x6”(w)x6”(d).
Blom is white, but it will be available with a variety of cord and leg colors. In the first production run I will use the red and teal cord, in combination with the dark birdseye and light walnut veneer. However, many other combinations are available, based on your personal preference. Underneath you will find images of the different cord and veneer colors available. The selection is continuously expanding. I will post the latest selection on our website and the social networks. If you do not see your favorite cord color, drop us a note, and we will consider adding it.
The development of the Blom table lamp, its packaging and the design of the production process has taken about eleven long and messy months. A lot of trial and error, sleepless nights and starting from scratch over and over again…because I knew I could do better. The evolution of the system of assembly is where it all started. Previous systems I had designed were elegant, but not easily understood. This time around it had to be simple enough for anybody to assemble, and I think I have succeeded. Once I settled on a system, I kneaded it (for lack of a better term) into the shape of Blom. Easier said than done; I can’t even recall most of the hurdles I had to overcome to finalize the design.
In the video you hear me use the term smart manufacturing. What this means in the context of making the Blom lamp, is that I have designed the manufacturing process in a way that it can be easily adapted to demand. Traditionally, making a product like this would rely on custom made dies, die cutting machines and minimum production runs. We do make use of those techniques, but we mostly apply digital (smart) manufacturing techniques. The advantage is that the digital die cutters we use can multitask, and make a variety of different parts in the exact quantity that is needed. The disadvantage is that it is slower than the traditional techniques. The solution to that problem: to simply multiply the production capacity, by using multiple identical machines. It is this approach to manufacturing which allows small players like myself to produce products locally yet affordably.
It might seem surprising to some people that the amount of funding I am asking is relatively low. The truth is that I really do not need more to get started. I designed the production process while designing Blom, and therefore was able to make it really efficient. So how will we use your funding? Well, like I mentioned, alongside our predominantly digital manufacturing process we do rely on traditional die cutting techniques. The packaging for one is made that way. So we will have to have some dies made. They have been designed, and all the die maker needs is a go ahead from me. Another part of the packaging is the printed sleeve. Again, as you can see in the video, the design is finished. I have selected an offset printer to produce the sleeves, but a minimum order is required to keep the costs reasonable. The raw materials also need to be purchased. I have already built relationships with suppliers that have provided me with small quantities of materials, which I have used for prototyping. And Last, but not least, I would like to expand our digital manufacturing capacity, by purchasing a second digital die cutter. I have selected a model that will be perfect for the job.
While the campaign is live, I will be working on the fully functional pre-production lamps, intended for the first pledgers. Parts of these lamps will be hand made by me, and I will sign each one in an inconspicuous place. The plan is to have these in your hand as soon as the campaign ends.
Once the funds are actually available to me, I will do a first production run of 50 lamps in January 2014. These lamps should be ready for shipping before the end of that month.
Depending on demand, I will expand the production capacity in February and do a second run of 100 lamps. Again, it might not even get to this point, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It’s up to you guys I suppose. At this time I will also start manufacturing lamps with European and UK plugs.
Since I designed the manufacturing process to be easily adaptable to demand, any consecutive production runs can be tuned according to the needs. I could even expedite the whole schedule if the demand is there. So if you are a late pledger, don’t worry, you will still get your lamp in a timely fashion. I will keep you up to date!
Domestic (US) shipping costs are included in the pledge amount. For international shipping of the lamp, please add an additional 20 dollars.
About me and SplinterSeed
SplinterSeed was founded by me, Sander Bakker, in 2010. I have a background in sound design for film, and more recently architecture. As a platform to launch some cross-disciplinary projects I created SplinterSeed. In 2012 we launched my first design: the Luum light pendant.
The seed symbolizes an idea. At SplinterSeed we believe in these seeds sprouting in the minds of talented newcomers to the field of design. We like to see our platform as a fertile patch of soil to stimulate the growth of those unique ideas, and bring them to fruition. It is intended to support artists, makers, and designers like myself; sharing their expertise and knowledge. If this appeals to you; I would love to hear from you and your project.
Well, if you’ve read this far, you truly must be interested. I would like to thank you for your interest and hope to have convinced you to back the campaign.
Risks and challenges
Since I am personally in charge of the manufacturing process, I believe that I have a good insight into where the weaknesses lie. Machines and computers could break down, supplies could be delayed and other unexpected hiccups could cause delays. And therein lies the greatest risk: Delays. I have secured a small quantity of materials already as a buffer for possible delays in the supply chain. Initially the lamp will be available in the US only, because I still need to source a European and UK plug. It is in the works though, and we should be all set for international deliveries by mid February 2014.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)