Dezeen Magazine

Knauf and Brown weights standing lamp with fillable water bag

This flat-pack floor lamp by Vancouver studio Knauf and Brown is weighed down using a bag of water, which comes empty to make the product easier and lighter to ship.

Knauf and Brown created the Water Based Light in response to the "problematic issue" of transporting typical floor lights with heavy bases.

Their solution is a base made of two pieces of Duratec fabric – a waterproof material usually used for kayaks – that are bonded together using radio frequency welding. The bag is fitted with a screw-cap so that when it arrives at its destination it can easily be filled up with water, like a hot water bottle.

Designer Tord Boontje previously came up with a similar solution to resolve the awkward and costly issue of shipping lights, creating lamps with baskets for bases that can be filled with objects like stones, books or apples when needed.

Knauf and Brown, which worked with local manufacturers to select materials, have taken Boontje's idea a step further. The Canadian studio's lamp stand and shade are also collapsible, so they can be flat-packed at an even smaller size.

To achieve this, the stand is built like a tent pole, comprising four aluminium rods threaded with string that can be pulled apart and folded up.

A flexible nylon mesh forms the cone-shaped shade so it can be scrunched up without permanently losing its shape.

By reducing shipping weights and sizes, Knauf and Brown intend the Water Based Light to be more environmentally friendly. Other designers with the same mindset include Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Mirjam de Bruijn, who believes cleaning products should be condensed into solids to getting rid of unnecessary weight.