Comment: Fast food and light

02. Aug 2017

Lumibär, the Chocolate Lamp … and bad taste.

You don’t have to pretend to like this kind of stuff to be sick of it …

Alternatively: I can’t write enough to express how much I need to shake my head in despair…


Text: Joachim Ritter
Photos: Maria Imagenes (Chocolate Lamp)


You may remember the so-called “Lumibär” – a luminaire version of jelly babies shaped like teddies made by Flötotto. I must admit the fate of the Lumibär did not turn out as I predicted back in the nineties. I presumed that the Lumibärs bought back then would end up being thrown away after two to five years, piles of them accumulating at the rubbish tips. I was wrong. That was not what happened. It all turned out quite differently…

The Lumibär was very popular at first and boosted business for furniture manufacturer Flötotto, as well as for numerous furniture dealers, in the mid-nineties. After that, the market was inundated with copies or similar products. The manufacturer was declared bankrupt in 2002, and closed down completely in 2007. What survived, however, was the Lumibär and its descendants – and distant relatives…

What can we learn from all this? Simple ideas that are easy to copy appear to sell well for a start, but entail a considerable amount of risk in the medium term. Can such products really be described as creative, or are they more of a fast food solution that only end up giving people a stomach ache?

But now we have a new, 2017-style candidate: the Chocolate Lamp. The product looks like a slab of chocolate and – how could it be otherwise – radiates white, red, yellow or green LED light through its acrylic skin, changing colour as required. Apart from the fact that the colour green and sweet food does not really fit, it is not exactly what you would describe as pleasing or a highlight. But wait for it – it gets even worse…

The Chocolate Lamp won the Bronze European Product Design Award in the free-standing luminaires category. That definitely says a lot about the quality of awards programmes and shows a lack of taste, to say the least.

Food as inspiration and a modular design, such as the Rubik cube, were the elements that led Chilean industrial designer Pedro Pablo Herrera Daniel to create his Chocolate Design collection.

The Chocolate Lamps are made of laser-cut thermoformed acrylic, with the base and the vertical structure made of black and white metal. The luminaire housing comprises six modules backlit using RGB LED strips, delivering light in more than ten different shades and intensities. The luminaire was designed for application in private homes. A pendant and a wall-mounted version are in development.

The “Chocolate” collection also features coffee tables and cabinets. These products are made of wood with a plastic laminate finish, or of metal coated with electrostatic paint.


About Pelo HD

Pedro Pablo is the founder and director of Pelo HD design studio, which is based in Santiago de Chile. The team is made up of interior and fashion designers.

The company designs furniture for retail and interior design projects. Independent projects, such as the Chocolate line, are becoming part of their portfolio. In addition to “Chocolate”, Pelo HD is working on the creation of two new product lines, also related to food: “Honey” and “Beer”.


www.pelohd.com

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