Bird by Zhili Liu


Shanghai designer Zhili Liu has designed a series of lighting inspired by birds.

Top image: Sparrow. Above: Nightingale.

Called Bird, the bone china sockets hold each bulb at an angle.

Above: Doves

They can be hung in clusters, attached to a perch or displayed with a shade that represents the bird's cage.

Here's some more information from Liu:


Bird lamps (design 2006, prototyping 2009)

Angled standard sockets.

The cheap bakelite bulb sockets have been widely used in China, from workshops to living rooms for over 4 decades without any change. With a bulb and some wire, it makes a practical and reliable pendant lamp for less than 10 RMB (about 75 pence).

The bird lamps were designed to inherit the simplicity of the bakelite sockets but at the same time offer the user some more room for imagination - only by adding a little angle.

The sockets is made of bone china, which is translucent, heat proof and electrically safe. Work with incandescent, CFLs or LED bulbs with a standard E-27 base.

Posted on Tuesday November 10th 2009 at 1:19 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Daniel Fi3er

    it so beautiful! i can hear the chirp!

  • CMB

    Simple and nice, proud of Zhili as a Chinese designer myself

  • a perversion with incandescent, great design with led….

  • suffin

    like it.

  • stst

    oh yeah :)))

  • How adorable, I’ve always wondered what it would look like if birds on a telephone wire lit up with electric energy.

  • gab xiao

    that’s a very subtle extrapolation of images with birds that we see daily. very romantic, too

  • Kris Adams

    Great stuff.

  • Cecekal

    Really poetic.
    I would love to have one!!!

  • LL

    Beautiful! My favorite is the one with the birds perched on a line.

  • Andreas


  • MaruMaru

    It’s similar to a Japanese brand 100% lamp.
    anyway, it’s beautiful.

  • miguel

    lol! absolutely genious……
    no comments

  • miguel

    it´s very Hithcook!!!!

  • tiffany

    It looks really nice, but the light quality is off course very bad and unpleasant. no matter which light bulb you’ll be using

  • Rach

    cute + elegant.

  • hayden

    I love those tables !

  • aeolus

    Interesting that such a naft design would get so many responses here while meaningful architectural designs are ignored. GE just announced they are no longer making incandescent bulbs.

  • lye

    simple yet elegant. like the work in first picture, imagining birds chirping.

  • great! Can we find those in Europe ?

  • tomalyla

    Shanghai designer rocks!!

  • Yeah! Pure synthesis, pure style! Beautiful!

  • chigchic

    Actually, I think the 2 tables at the last pic look more promising than the bulbs….they look absolutely elegant.

    Like what Tiffany has mentioned, the upright bulbs do present some inherent functional problems concerning throw of light as it is directed upwards instead of downwards where the light is required. Probably will be good for mood lighting rather than for utilitarian purpose.


    好讚的設計, 我被感動到了!

  • “Nightingale” is my best one 8)

  • BRian



  • Hans

    Love it . I would like one in my flat :)

  • I LOVE these, especially the first. It’s like I can actually hear them chirping. I’d love to hang it above a dining room table. :)

  • HC Bauer

    cute, but i really wanna know; who made that fantastic table??

  • Lady C

    Today I passed a park where pidgeons pirched in their hundreds on a football pitch, along the goal bar at both ends.

    I really like the horizontal light, I love the serenity it evokes.

  • nice! finally see it on dezeen!

  • the cute cute lamp was made by an ingo maurer ‘s lover …
    the no signed table by a nosigner’s lover…

  • @ miguel
    See swiss trio ZMIK in Basel / Switzerland to see a very Hithcook work

  • nomad

    A fantastic achievement imparting so much character and charm into an object as mundane as the lightbulb.

    Sparrow’s the best for my money.

  • zhaoyun

    this is the begining…

  • arnulfo alamil

    hehehehe… it does look like birds.. very chic and whimsical

  • chinese dictionary


  • Smart design. The designer successfully captured the essence of the ‘birds on a wire’.

  • Sakura

    Liu, love your work! Congratulations!

    (Prof Z is playing smart again :) )

  • w

    I will not agree with chigchic and Tiffany, as there are more than one (or two) bulbs which can work together to reduce the shadow spot.

    the design is absolutely great! Birds on a wire is my favourite.