Dezeen Magazine

Algae Lamps by Nea Studio

Nea Studio creates lamps from dried seaweed

Curling edges detail these hanging lamps that New York designer Nina Edwards Anker has created from dried sheets of algae.

Edwards Anker, who runs Brooklyn practice Nea Studio, moulded sheets of the marine plant around objects and left them to dry to create the cylindrical pendants.

"We allow the raw nature of each individual sheet of seaweed to form its own sculptural piece," said Edwards Anker.

The lamps are made from a dark green algae variety known as Chlorophyta. This is a seaweed that is translucent and able to filter sunlight that hits it, producing a glow during the day.

Edwards Anker inserted an electric bulb each of the hanging lights. She chose LEDs because they radiate less heat than standard bulbs.

"We pay a lot of attention in the studio to finding the right LED bulbs that produce warm light," Edwards Anker told Dezeen. "It is tricky, but the technology is improving rapidly."

Once the light is turned on, portions of the harden shell glow, while others remain a deep dark colour.

Algae Lamps by Nea Studio

Each individual fixture is unique in its colouration and shape. Some are entirely smooth, while others feature bulges and rigid, uneven edges.

"The material retains its original organic nature, translucency and colour, so that each hand-crafted light shade becomes an original sculpture," said Edwards Anker.

Atop each shade is a circular metal frame to attach a lightbulb, and add a decorative element. The bottom rim of the paper-thin lamps is a naturally crumpled and thus unique to each piece.

The skeleton can be customised according to the buyer's taste, with one of several finishes including brushed brass or bronze, polished chrome or nickel or white powder-coated aluminium.

The arrangement of the individual lights, when part of the chandelier, can also be tailored to meet customer preferences. The patterns include a swirl, a random scatter or a single row made to be featured above a dining table.

Algae Lamps by Nea Studio

The pendant lighting hangs down from the ceiling with an electrical wire. Nea Studio has plans to craft the algae lamp shades into sconces and table lamps.

Nea Studio is a Brooklyn architecture, interiors, landscape, furniture and product design studio that concentrates on sustainable and natural production.

Edwards Anker's design follows others who are also creatively using algae to make functional products.

Jonas Edvard and Nikolaj Steenfatt crafted chairs and pendant lamps with dried algae, while design student Ari Jónsson used red algae powder to form biodegradable plastic water bottles.