Italian Designers Turn Orange Peels Into Compostable Lamps
Next time you’re enjoying a juicy orange, consider turning the peel into a bedside light before tossing it into the trash. At least, that’s the what the innovators at Krill Design did with their latest project, the Ohmie lamp.
In a Kickstarter campaign that’s already garnered six times its original funding goal, the Milan-based Krill team is planning to mass produce small lamps made mostly from food waste, specifically the peels of two Sicilian oranges.
“We wanted to create a special piece, beautiful and useful as well as sustainable, so everyone can have something unique in their home that not only decorates the room but tells a story of revolution,” says product designer Victoria R. Schön in an official campaign video.
That revolution is the circular economy idea gaining steam with companies all around the world, with the eventual aim of recycling and reusing all product waste. Founded in 2018 by Ivan Calimani and Yack H. Di Maio, Krill Designs is a company dedicated to combining the need to recycle waste and the need to create new products through material research, design, and innovation. The Krill team hopes the Ohmie will be one step in changing paradigms so that “’sustainable’ will stop being an adjective and will become the norm.”
“We [didn’t] just want to make a change in design. We wanted to make this change beautiful and meaningful,” says Krill co-founder and CEO Calimani. “We have been developing biomaterials for almost three years, helping corporate be more sustainable and crafting eco design products for them. It’s time to use our expertise to make a product just for you.”
To make the petite and visually intriguing lamp, the designers at Krill obtained discarded peels from the food industry, dried them, and ground them into a powder. After being blended with a plant-derived biopolymer, the mixture was squeezed into a filament and fed into a 3D printer in a continuous spiral-like movement. This technique, called “vase mode,” gives the Ohmie its distinctive ribbed texture.
The final product is a 9-inch tall, 5.3-oz table lamp that has the feel, color, and even smell of an orange. It also comes with a USB-plug power cord, a dimmer switch, and an LED bulb with an output of 70 to 90 lumens.
Thanks to the many variations in natural orange color, the Krill team says that each lamp’s particular hue will be different depending on its organic origin. “Every Ohmie will be a completely unique piece,” the campaign page says. And since they’re all made of organic material, the Italian company also says the shape of each lamp could actually change slightly over time.
Closing the production waste loop, if an Ohmie ever breaks, the lamp body is compostable, allowing the majority of its mass to return to Mother Nature to be used again in another form.
With 9 days to go before its Kickstarter deadline of August 5, the Ohmie project had already attracted 347 investors who had contributed over $37,000, far surpassing the original goal of $3,500. Those purchasing the early-bird special got a 30-percent discount off the original price, paying $85 with an expected delivery date of November 2021.