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Mark Colliass, a UK student at Nottingham Trent University, has developed a sustainable rotational moulding rig — which allows people to create their own lampshades by riding a bicycle. The project was developed to make a statement about throwaway culture.
The 23-year-old’s invention — which rotates a lampshade mould when fitted to the front wheel of an ordinary bicycle – involves people in the manufacturing process, the idea being that the item should be more meaningful to the owner.
The design will go on show at Nottingham Trent University’s exhibition ‘Magic Light’, which is being launched for Nottingham Light Night on 28 February.
For Mark’s invention to work, users pour jesmonite, a bio resin, into the lampshade mould and add a colourant of their choice. The mould is then placed into the rig and when the user starts to cycle the mould rotates.
The centrifugal force which is produced creates a hollow cylinder out of the jesmonite. And after 40 minutes of cycling, the jesmonite sets in the shape of a lampshade.
“The feeling of taking the lampshade out of the mould is the best experience, when you realise it has worked,” said Mark.
“You definitely have this kind of personal attachment to it which you don’t get with other objects.
“It also alters the experience of the bike ride, as you connect the bike ride and the product together.”
Users can add different layers of colour to the lampshade by repeating the process once the previous mould has set.
“People can tailor it to how they want it to look,” added Mark, who is now looking to take the project further as part of his studies.
“It’s about trying to tackle the idea of a disposable generation. We’ve become very materialistic as it’s easy to dispose of things and replace them.
“The hope is that by enabling people to make their own lampshades, and by making that process fun and easy to do, they’ll grow more attached to it and be less likely to want to throw it away.”
Magic Light will showcase up to 40 lamps with a DH Lawrence theme that have been made by students from the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.
The exhibition is one of a number of activities which celebrate the 170-years since the establishment of the Nottingham Government School of Design, the origin of art and design education in Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.
Alan Crisp, Head of Product Design in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, said: “We’re really excited by our students’ work and think Magic Light will make for a fantastic exhibition.
“We’re very keen for members of the public to come along and see just how creative our students are, and to learn more about the magnificent creative heritage that this city and our university has.”
Doors to the Magic Light exhibition open on Nottingham Light Night from 7pm. The exhibition is open to the public until 6 March from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and 11am to 4pm on Saturday.