Designed by architect Taeg Nishimoto, Undulae is a series of table and pendant lamps made of cornstarch-based bioplastic tubes. Bioplastic is made from the mixture of cornstarch, water, vinegar and glycerin with particular proportion and mixing process. In this project, exploration of many combinations and proportion of the ingredients was the first step to understand the behaviour of bioplastic in its drying process and the strength of the material.
Bioplastic mixture is spread on a sheet of parchment paper with another sheet on top to make a sandwiched unit. This unit is then held with two pipes along the longitudinal edges with another pipe inside which keep the drying unit in place by gravity. When the bioplastic is left to dry, the bioplastic’s nature of shrinking creates a condition on surrounding parchment paper with a crease pattern in one direction, which in turn eventually becomes the texture of the surface of bioplastic tubes when they are completely dry.
The longitudinal sides that are exposed to the air also create unique undulating pattern along the edges while drying, which gives the tubes a distinctive, individual character. The colour at the edge of the tubes is applied with food colouring into the liquid mixture when the pour takes place. There are two types of the application of this bioplastic tubes as a lighting fixture. One is a table lamp that uses the singular tube standing upright above a disk that contains the light bulb.
The other is a pendant lamp that hangs multiple tubes from a disk above that contains the light bulb at the center. The disk itself is hung with metal wire. There are two lengths for tubes; one is about 36 cm and the other about 50 cm.
The placement and combination of bioplastic tubes for pendant lamps can be rearranged by placing them at different locations of the disk’s holes.
+ Taeg Nishimoto