Latro Algae Lamp by Mike Thompson 14.06.10

lamp-6548-620

Eindhoven-based designer Mike Thompson, who we covered in our graduate round-up last year, has created a hanging lamp powered by algae.

The lamp, which is an investigation into alternative energy supplies, resembles a conical flask from a laboratory.

Called Latro (latin for thief), the hanging piece utilizes recent scientific techniques developed at Yansei and Stanford University where 30-nanometre wide gold electrodes were inserted into the algal cells, drawing a small electrical current from algae during photosynthesis.

The algae requires a supply of sunlight, Carbon Dioxide (C02) and water – the owner of the lamp must provide C02 from their breath through the handle, whilst the side spout allows the addition of water and release of oxygen. A battery stores energy produced in the daytime ready to be called upon at night.

With this piece Thompson wishes to teach us the value of light that is often neglected with the flick of a switch. Last year he designed Blood Lamp, a single-use light where individuals must make a sacrifice of their own blood in order for the lamp to work. With this project owner participation is less dramatic. We must care for the Latro lamp like a pet – feeding and caring for the algae, which in turn will reward us with light.

Latro Lamp-384

 

Words

Natasha Lyons

quotes story

The lamp, which is an investigation into alternative energy supplies, resembles a conical flask from a laboratory

Leave a comment

Click to show