Lightweight by
Studio Tord Boontje


Product news: lamps often have heavy bases to steady them, making them awkward and costly to ship, so London-based Studio Tord Boontje swapped them for empty baskets which can be filled with objects like stones, books or apples.

Lightweight by Tord Boontje

Each lamp in the Japanese-inspired Lightweight collection has a paper shade around its LED bulb and a stem made from two canes of bamboo.

Lightweight by Tord Boontje

The collection includes a desk light, three floor lights and a hanging light which can be adjusted by adding weight to its basket.

Lightweight by Tord Boontje

The materials are largely sourced from within the UK, including bamboo grown in Scotland, wire baskets and joints made in Yorkshire, cables and copper plating made in London and fabric shades made in Wales. The lights are assembled at Boontje's shop and studio in London where they were launched during the London Design Festival last month.

Lightweight by Tord Boontje

Earlier this year we filmed Boontje giving a tour of the graduate show at the Royal College of Art, where he leads the Design Products course.

Lightweight by Tord Boontje

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Lightweight by Tord Boontje

Here's some more information from Studio Tord Boontje:

Rocks, bamboo and paper banners. Lightweight is like a traditional Japanese garden; a small contemplation on light, objects, energy and nature.

The Lightweight collection started with the idea to develop an alternative to shipping heavy lamp bases around the world. With the Lightweight collection you can use heavy objects that you have at home to balance these lamps. The baskets are designed to hold stones (like gabions), books, perfume bottles, plants, postcards or other collections.

This studio-produced collection includes a desk light, a hanging light and three different floor lights. The Desk Light is fully adjustable in height and rotation angle. It has a circular paper shade around the LED bulb and the basket is a bit larger than A4 size, so it functions as an in-tray as well. You can adjust the Hanging Light by adding weight to the small basket. The soft-box lampshade is inspired by photography studio lights.

The Floor Standing Light has a Tyvek paper banner onto which a blossom drawing is screen-printed in our studio. The lightʼs stem is made of a bamboo cane that was grown in Scotland. The cable is made in London as well as the copper plating. The fabric soft-boxes are made in Wales. The wire baskets and joints are made in Yorkshire. The cable clips and assembly is done in our studio / shop. All lights use LED or low energy light bulbs.

The Lightweight collection includes: Desk Light; Floor Standing Banner Light; Floor Standing Soft-box Light; Floor Standing Reading Light; Hanging Light. The Lightweight collection was launched as part of the Squirrelʼs Electro Garden Party and is available exclusively from our shop in Shoreditch, London with prices starting from £220.

  • Timooo

    Wonderful simplicity!

  • Geoff

    Firstly, the single biggest cost of freight is the volume of products, not the weight.

    Secondly, if you’re shipping something you’re implying that there’s demand/someone’s going to be buying them.

    No one’s going to buy these – the concept’s weak, and the execution is hideous.

    No wonder the Design Products course output has been so poor over the last few years if this guy’s been in the driving seat.

    • Leon

      Geoff, I like your comment. If I am finishing the apples in the basket, the lamp falls apart unless I replace them with a boiler or let the apples go away or I can simply starve. And most importantly the design is seriously ugly, has no shape, no proportions, only nonsense concept.

      If that is the trend everybody can become a designer without spending thousands of pounds a year studying at the Royal College of Art. The sense of beauty has been lost. I love design and like a lot Dezeen, but recently I saw ridiculous and useless designs in here. I felt I had to give my opinion.

  • Jenny

    The current pretentious trend for “found objects” and DIY design is nauseatingly ugly, cheap, and insulting to those of us with a discerning eye for real design. Please waste no more time publishing badly executed nonsense like this and encouraging its dissemination – this should not be considered as acceptable content in a design magazine!

    • mic

      Should be or should not be… that is the question. What is real design? Let yourself have some fun. Ugly and cheap can be beautiful in their own ways. I support dissemination of DIY design. It’s a comment on the current state of the world. Open your eyes: most of the Earth’s inhabitants will never be able to afford fancy high class design. If this is an inspirational piece, it’s good enough.

  • sanslartigue

    Methinks the commentators above have been overly influenced by Apple, and not enough by the apple. Maybe not Akari-worthy, but there is a pleasant natural quality in these lamps, an appropriate definition of how they are made.

  • Ze'ev

    Beautiful objects and great ideas! I fear some of the commentators are just envious, as I am. Tord, build me a bike!

  • Bob

    I’m really struggling to whip up the same sense of superiority and indignation felt and supported in the comments above.

    No – it’s really just not going to happen. Okay, I’d better confess then. I think the lamps are inventive and humorous. I also enjoy the aesthetic. And they have critical content. Clearly I need to submit myself to a design correctional facility and get it together. Apologies for the weakness.

  • It’s a disaster! Both function and form fail completely. It’s a shame because I love some of his work such as the shades he designed for Artecnica, which are stunning and simple.

  • Max

    What do these pieces cost? If I have to guess, they will probably be found in expensive design boutiques going for about 5-800 Euro a piece. So what does it matter if it’s made from cheap materials and you have to add the weight yourself, when the people who can afford it just buy it because it looks cool? The purpose of reducing the materials should be to make the product more affordable, right? Otherwise, what’s the point? If you tell me that it will be sold at Ikea for less than 50 Euro and I’d say it’s a great piece of design.