Karl Frederik Scholz
Bezalel Academie of Arts and Design Jerusalem
Elegant design can be made with anything around you.
Buoy is a lamp that is mainly composed of a sandbag and a wooden stick, causing a tensioning mechanism. Through this tensioning mechanism the user is able to adjust the stick and the light into many different angles. The lamp consists of very basic components: Sandbag, wooden stick, two cords, PVC lamp shade, lighting, electric cable, rubber o-rings. All those parts are held together without srewing or glueing. Everything is folded, plugged or held together with rubber o-rings.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
Buoy was created in Jerusalem and is mainly influenced by the numerous amount of sandbags you see everywhere lingering in the streets. In Israel there are sandbags everywhere, most of them can be seen on construction sites. Many others, however, function as a boundary or barrier in military areas. I was wondering how to work and play with those characteristics. I also asked myself how present is the usage of bags in product design as its main function? I thought it was a very interessting context the bag is coming from: It represents social but also political issues that I wanted to discover and to transfer into a product. A poduct that also behaves according to the characteristics of the bag.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
I wanted to investigate those bags, I thought there is an interesting phenomena: Such a bag offers stability and foundation but also separation and isolation. I thought that I wanted to create a product that consists of an ambiguous but also ambivalent part, the bag. For me this bag has not only a functional being, it also represents process and stagnation, especially linked to Israel. Furthermore I wanted to modify the bag or put it in an abstract context in order to play with its multi-usage.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
Initially I made a thorough examination about the presents of the bags in Jeruslaem. It was very much interesting how integrated the bags were. I gathered different material samples the bags were made of, to find out more about its characteristics. I rebuilt and sew new bags in order to examine sizes and materials. I realized that the bag’s characteristic of being clumsy and heavy would be quite interesting to integrate into my product. I had a very long time shaping the bag and combining other materials with it by sticking it into. I tried to balance objects in the shaped bags. This topic of playing with „balance“ became one of my main focus in the process of the development. I tried to correlate all parts with each other. Everything was supposed to depend on each other. The materials I chose have a rather rough and „ready-made“ touch. Altough many parts are slightly modified to create a look of both: the „ready-made“ and an industrial product design look. It turned out pretty quick to play with light and to create a Lamp. I thought it was a quite interesting contrast to the heaviness and roughness of a sandbag: Light and clumsiness.
The light is primarily held together by the cords. These cords run freely through holes located at the upper end of the wooden stick. All the ends of the cords are attached to the four edges of the sandbag. The weight of the sand is holding the strings under tension. This in turn allows the user to position the lamp freely in the room: The tension of the strings presses the wooden stick into the sandbag and creates a joint. This joint always adjusts to the angle of the wooden stick and holds it firmly in position. The lampshade is made from one piece, folded and attached with the rubber o-rings. The light source is also mounted with the o-rings on the upper end of the stick. The electrical cable is running along the wooden stick from top to bottom. There its held on tension with a little leash and than connected to the power source.
As I already described in the first question, the lamp is put together out of different parts that can be put together by folding or plugging into each other. I can very much image that this lamp comes in a small bag that the customer puts together him- or herself. It could have this certain user experience linked to the roughness of the original sandbag everyone knows – it would be a very hand-crafted experience.
I think it has a very special relevance in different contexts. In Israel, people are really aware of the meaning and usage of sandbags but of course also in other areas. I think it doesnt really matter if its directly connected to Israel or not. I see it more general: how to create ambivalences within a product. Ambivalences that even work together and function. It could be something that questions itself all the time, by saying: How does it work. This I think reflects our society every day and its always a question I have been asking myself thoughout studying design.