Nir Meiri turns cabbage leaves into paper-like lampshades
London-based studio Nir Meiri has teamed up with Indian designer Vaidehi Thakkar to create a series of lamps with shades made from red cabbage leaves.
The delicate veins and marbled colouring of the leaves shine through when a light source is applied.
This organic aesthetic is contrasted with a simple, black and golden base housing the electronics and the actual light source, which projects upwards onto the shade.
The Veggie Lights come in two versions. In the first, the rugged, uneven shape of the leaves is left untouched, while in the other it is trimmed off to form gentle sloping curves.
"The design itself was a long process of prototyping and understanding how the light will render this material in the best way," Meiri told Dezeen.
"The final object was a table lamp that gives the material the main stage while keeping the overall design elegant and sleek."
Thakkar developed the method at the heart of the product, in which vegetables are turned into a paper-like material she calls Fibre Flats.
To create it, the cabbage leaves are separated and soaked in a natural, anti-fungal material.
"We dry them until all the moisture is evaporated, using a mould that mimics the shape of the original red cabbage leaf. And then, we finish them off with a water-based, sustainable coating," explained Meiri.
"That means it will stay durable but it will not last forever. As any other natural material, it will 'age' over time and was not designed to last forever. It can be returned back to the earth as compost and easily replaced with a new shade but using the same base."
The Veggie Lights are the latest manifestation of Meiri's enduring fascination with organic materials, which has previously seen him turn both mycelium and seaweed into lampshades.
"I'm always inspired by what I see in nature – the best designer of all time," he said.
"Nature is an endless source of inspiration, colours and geometrics, and natural materials have so many applications. It's all about creating a functional piece of design without loosing the beauty of nature."
Elsewhere, lighting designs making use of organic matter have repurposed post-industrial beer and coffee waste as well as using living bacteria to generate electricity.