Mark Colliass, a UK student at Nottingham Trent University, has developed a sustainable rotational moulding rig — which allows people to create their own lampshades by riding a bicycle. The project was developed to make a statement about throwaway culture.
The 23-year-old’s invention — which rotates a lampshade mould when fitted to the front wheel of an ordinary bicycle — is designed to involve people in the manufacturing process of their own product, which Colliass says should make it more meaningful to the owner.
For Mark’s invention to work, users pour jesmonite, a bio resin, into the lampshade mould and add a colourant of their choice. The mould is then placed into the rig and when the user starts to cycle, the mould rotates.
The centrifugal force produced creates a hollow cylinder out of the jesmonite and after 40 minutes of cycling, the material sets in the shape of a lampshade.
“The feeling of taking the lampshade out of the mould is the best experience, when you realise it has worked,” said Colliass.“You definitely have this kind of personal attachment to it, which you don’t get with other objects.
“It also alters the experience of the bike ride, as you connect the bike ride and the product together.”
Users can add different layers of colour to the lampshade by repeating the process once the previous mould has set.
“People can tailor it to how they want it to look,” Colliass added, who is now looking to take the project further as part of his studies. “It’s about trying to tackle the idea of a disposable generation. We’ve become very materialistic as it’s easy to dispose of things and replace them.
“The hope is that by enabling people to make their own lampshades, and by making that process fun and easy to do, they’ll grow more attached to it and be less likely to want to throw it away.”