Section: Barbara Adams
Headline: Shroom, Public Outdoor Lights for Norwegian Cities, by Ralston & Bau
Popular 20th century design principle of ‘form follows function’ in its pure form is obsolete, as McDonough and Braungart state in Cradle to Cradle, calling for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design. Ralston & Bau design studio’s new eco-friendly public outdoor lighting series is a perfect example. Made from a natural bio-composite material and linen fibers, it also uses an innovative detection system that reacts to movement and ambient light to regulate the brightness, so “this is both energy saving and avoids unnecessary light pollution.” Specifically adapted to the Nordic lifestyle, and designed with the idea of ‘non-interference’ in mind, the project also brings up the point touched on by both Paola Antonelli and Jamer Hunt in their lectures – that of the importance of localization (design must be contextual in order to be successful). Inspired by and designed in accordance with the peculiar characteristics of the Norwegian reality, Ralston & Bau’s project seems to add another component to the ‘form follows evolution, not just function’ postulate. Reiterating Julie Bargmann’s words – it’s sensibility in respecting the site’s history.
Primary Design Lens: Product Design and Technology
Secondary Design Lens: Design and Sustainability