SEAM roto-moulded lighting
by Annika Frye

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Product news: German designer Annika Frye has designed a rotation-moulded lighting range with visible seams (+ movie).

SEAM rotomolded light by Annika Frye

The SEAM polymer plaster lights are created using a rotation-moulding machine, which Annika Frye constructed herself.

SEAM rotomolded light by Annika Frye

The lampshade evolved over months of experimentation with various mould shapes and additives such as wood and textiles.

SEAM rotomolded light by Annika Frye

The shade is built up in three layers, each with a different colour.

SEAM rotomolded light by Annika Frye

First the mould is screwed together and attached to the centre of the machine. It's then filled with the first polymer plastic mixture.

SEAM rotomolded light by Annika Frye

Powered by an electric motor, the machine rotates in three directions simultaneously so the liquid covers the inside of the mould.

SEAM rotomolded light by Annika Frye

After drying, another coloured layer of mixture is added to the inside of the mould and the rotation process is repeated.

SEAM rotomolded light by Annika Frye

The mould is discarded after final drying, leaving the product with a smooth outer surface and the seam of the mould visible.

SEAM rotomolded light by Annika Frye

The bottom of the lamp is cut off and sanded, revealing the irregularities of the casting process on the inside.

SEAM rotomolded light by Annika Frye

The light comes in green, white or red and the fixture is made from sandblasted plexiglass.

These pendant lights are currently on show at the MAK Vienna as part of an exhibition entitled New Nomadic Furniture. They will also show during Vienna Design Week 2013.

This work is the latest development in the designer's Improvisation Machine project. An earlier version of the machine was on show at the Istanbul Design Biennial 2012, and Dezeen reported on it at the time.

"The last publication on your site was great, a lot of people contacted me and I had lectures, exhibitions and other invitations," Frye told us. "This project is basically the application of the experimental process on a regular product that I can make myself."

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More information from the designer:


The Shape

The pendant light SEAM was originally a test shape that I designed to experiment with my DIY- rotational moulding machine. After some months of experimentation with different shapes and additives such as wood or textiles, I decided to use one test shape to improve the process. I tested all kinds of mixtures of polymer plaster with my test shape and I also did some colour experiments. I started to write down everything I did, like laboratory workers do.

The Machine

The rotational moulding machine (a simple construction) that was used to make the lampshades. It looks less fancy than the other machine I made, it's only a tool. This machine is the real improvisation in this project, while the the lampshade is not really improvised.

SEAM rotomolded light by Annika Frye

The Process

The outcome of my colour and material experimentation is a simple lampshade. The moulding process compromises three steps with different layers and different colours. The seam of the moulding process is still visible in the product, so are the irregularities of casting process. The drops inside the lampshade refer to the movement of the machine. The lampshade comes in different colours: green, white and red. It has a smooth surface on the outside, while the inside shows irregularities that refer to the DIY- rotational moulding process. The outside is sanded and covered with a protective layer of vaseline.

The Fixture

Because of the irregular material thickness, the lamp needs a special fixture that enables the user to adjust the lampshade. The fixture was made from sandblasted plexiglass. It also works as a diffusor. The special fixture also determines the form of the lampshade: a bigger hole is necessary at the top of the shade in order to adjust the lampshade, the light passes through. Every lampshade has a slightly different surface due to the rotational moulding process. The mould that was used to make the lampshades. The bottom part of the shade is cut off later.