‘flow’ public light for the Third World by IgenDesgin

‘Flow’ is a bamboo-made, self maintaining public lighting which operates on the principle of vertical wind turbine. The whole lamp disintegrates in nature excpet for the electronics – LEDs, wires and dynamo – which after time can be recycled without downcycling. Due to the simple junctions and mechanics, it can also be produced by the local unskilled workforce. The light sources situated at the ends of the windblades can form continous lighting surface or slow, waving movements and play of light, depending on the speed of the rotation. Due to its spiral form, the lamp can hold the wind from every direction. The reason of this lamp – Solving local problem with local resources The object was mainly designed for the Colombian coasts. I was inspired by a problem that I experienced in Cartagena – a coast-wise city in Colombia. The coast-side of the city is busy and safe by day, but in the night it is abandoned and dangerous due to the lack of public lighting, as the grid cannot be transmitted to the shores. The wind dominating the shores in the whole year is an ideal resource for the lighting. Bamboo is one of the easiest to find and cheapest to produce raw material in Colombia and its utilization is not „eco-harmful” even at small and medium serial number products.

The windblades come to existence by cutting the bamboos into halves. The ends of the bamboos are cut angularly so the lamp lights downwards to the passer-bys and its motion can be seen from afar.

It was a socially important aspect that the lamp can be produced by the locals, thus it can integrate to the area’s cultural and economic rhythm. Hence I designed the buildup in the easiest way. This product can be assembled by the locals themselves, practically only an instruction guide has to be attached. During the development of the lamp my aim was the materialization of bamboo and to fit the object into the local culture’s forms.

construction of the bamboo lamp

After the design process I realized that there are lot of countries with similar problems. In the countries of the Third World the lack of public lighting is a common problem. The reason behind is that in these places the building of an electric network is too expensive or not even possible and there is not enough resource at hand: not enough raw materials, money and skilled workforce for the production. There is a need of lighting which is cheap, can be installed at places which cannot reach the network and can be easily produced with local resources. At these places the cheapest and highest in quantity raw material is bamboo, while the cheapest utility energy is wind energy.

Bamboo spread around the world

If you would like to learn more about the Flow bamboo lamp, click here to get more information!

Designed by Alberto Vasquez
founder of IgenDesign
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Credits: MOME project, Designer: Alberto Vasquez Design consultant: Balazs Püspök Engeneering consultant: Daniel Lőrincz Photographer: Balazs Mate
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Ecological thinking isn't necessary?

Ecological thinking isn’t necessary?

Why social sensitivity is so important in the design profession?

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Flow has reached even Taiwan! Great photo, huh?:)

The Flow lamp’s success has reached even Taiwan!:)

Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 7.37.22 PM2

Flow lamp has been published as a case study in Maggie Macnab’s new book: Design by Nature.

Exhibited on TEDx UChicago! Click here to learn more

Exhibited on TEDx UChicago!



38 thoughts on “‘flow’ public light for the Third World by IgenDesgin

  1. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  2. Pingback: Flow: illuminazione urbana a base di vento, led e bamboo « DeeMind

  3. Pingback: 35 Unusual Lamps and Creative Lighting Design Showcase — Spoonfed Design

  4. Pingback: Sanat Tasarım » Çevre dostu aydınlatma

  5. Hi, I’m an architect from Ecuador, I’m really interested in your work.
    I’m working for the Quito’s Goverment, and we are making a project for a place very important in the City, called “el Panecillo”, is an a small mountain were we have an sculpture of a “Virgen de Legarda”; the Project is about of a “Park for the Air”, “el Parque del Aire”, and I want to involve in it, an ecologic, and new ideas, like yours.

    Please contact me.

  6. Pingback: igenworks – ‘flow’ public light for the Third World « WHEN RAINE STARTS..

  7. Pingback: Angela May - Industrial Design

  8. I’m an industrial designer and I’m currently doing my master of design in New Zealand and i would like to use this product/service as one of my case studies and i would really appreciate if you cold contact me through my e-mail. It is a great idea, and it fits perfectly on my subject.
    Thank you very much, hope to hear from you soon.

  9. that is an excellent idea, how will it be backed up? what wind speed is required to generate enough watts? what happens if wind is too strong? how isit backed up? battery? mains electricity?

  10. Pingback: Flow: A Sustainable Public Lighting | IGreenSpot

  11. Pingback: Igendesign - Flow | Stilsucht

  12. Pingback: Cool idea for wind-driven light « A Man With A Ph.D.

  13. Sorry for being skeptical here:
    How do you fit bearings in bamboo and keep them from losening?
    What is the output of your turbine? By the look of it there is no way you get enough wattage for even weak street lights.
    I don’t see any wires in the cut in half tubes, how do you convey electricity to the LEDs?
    Why can’t the grid be transmitted to the shores in South America?

  14. Pingback: wind = light « lledner

  15. Pingback: Beautiful wind turbine lights  | Heluva | Brisbane Industrial Design

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  17. Pingback: Igendesign’s Flow light harvests wind power for sustainable lighting « Gadget Gizmoo

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  20. These lights look like a great idea. Please let me know when you can ship to Canada. Could I become a distributor for Canada? Will they come in different heights and sizes. Please send contact info.
    thank you

  21. Hi, guys really interesting project, I wanted to ask you, was Colombia chosen because of anything or just as a mere coincidence? or do you have some presence in the country?

    The proposal is interesting, the material local, not from the coastal regions, probably at least 12 hours on a car ride at least, but quite cheap material as it grows quite fast. When you talk about production will it be made for Colombia as well?

    Also, beaches have very good windy conditions, Can this model be applied up to how slow wind blowing conditions? I mean can it be used somewhere other than the beach?

  22. Pingback: Beautiful Bamboo Flow Lights are Powered by the Wind! | Eco Custom Home's Newsroom

  23. This is a wonderful idea. Do you have plans on making these soon. They will sell quickly in USA. Nice to see one in my garden.

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