IMG_6665In November I was invited to take part in Hong Kong Design Institute‘s first Open Design Forum, organised by Desis Lab which concerns itself with social design research. It was an opportunity to ‘scale up’ the Sellotape Chandelier and to see what would happen when it was ‘opened’ up. First of all we had generous support from Megaman lighting who suppled 100 LED bulbs and fittings.

The first set of participants were 50 fine art students. I explained the process and we got down to work on the first stage which was making the moulds. I think that the students were more ambitious with the forms than product design students might have been because they were not primarily concerned with mould making. they approached this stage like making 3D collages.

At the end of the first day after having worked in smaller groups and had made some tests, all the ‘resource’ was laid out and categorised so we could see what the possibilities for forms would be if we pooled resources. The categorisation was done with specific rules in mind as to what material, form or type of object. All the plastic bottles were lined up in height order, all the blocks of material were grouped together as were balls, boxed, bowls, cones, and circular things. This gave everyone more confidence to just choose a few objects to turn into their mould or former, and it started looking a lot more promising.

The second day people started working on their own designs but everyone seemed happy to help others make their chandeliers look as good as they could and people started to display different skills, be it meticulous making, grouping together interesting combinations of objects or in some cases speed of production.

On the third day, we all worked on different things, a photo shoot was set up so that everyone had a record in the same way of their chandelier. Others worked on the installation of the 120+ chandeliers whilst another group passed on their knowledge to some invited citizens who wanted to participate and make their own chandelier. The photos show the diverse age range.

There was a lighting ceremony which was spectacular, and a lot of visitors and media came to look at our Open Light installation. I was very proud of how hard everyone worked on this and I really learned a lot also. thanks to everyone involved.


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