Designer DIY with Ross Lovegrove
Make this cut-price Memphis-style lamp by following these simple instructions courtesy of the star designer
The award-winning Cardiff-born industrial designer Ross Lovegrove has created products for the likes of Apple, Sony, Vitra, Kartell, Luceplan and Cappellini. We doubt whether he has ever included a set of plastic buckets in any of his corporate proposals, yet the designer does think that today’s designs should embrace ad-hoc vernacular creation, using whatever off-the-shelf parts they can find.
“It’s the readymade culture that I believe all designers should take to heart right through their creative lives,” Lovegrove explains in our new book, Do It Yourself, “because it liberates the mind from calculation and is more akin to art in its spontaneity and singular voice.”
To this end, Lovegrove has designed his Fatto di Giorno floor lamp, using a handful of components that most of us could find at the hardware store. The design, which translates from the Italian as ‘made in a day’, is both a tribute to the colourful, Memphis-era work of Etorre Sottsass, and an indication of the ease with which most of us could create the piece. Here’s how.
What you need: one neon tube, 67 in (170 cm); six multi-coloured plastic buckets with lids: two small (two gallons or seven litres), two medium (three and a half gallons or 13 litres); two large (five and a half gallons or 20 litres); zip ties; drill; forstner bit as wide as neon tube; drill bit.
Remove the handles from the buckets.
Cut into the centre of the base of the buckets holes big enough for the neon tube to be drawn through. Drill four holes every ¾ to 1¼ in (2 to 3 cm) around the holes in the bases for the cable ties that will hold the buckets together.
Drill a hole in the lid through which the power cable will be fed.
Put the lamp together and fix the buckets with the zip ties. Two covers act as the cap, one as a stand.
Feed the cable and neon rod into the lamp. Connect the rod to the mains.
For greater detail on this design and many more works by such designers and artists as Konstantin Grcic, Ai Weiwei, Hella Jongerius and John Baldessari buy a copy of Do It Yourself Here.