An Israeli designer living in the forest has taken inspiration from his environment for a series of lamps that latch onto bars and poles like vines growing up the branches of trees. Eran Rozenfeld observed the way that these fast-growing plants thrive by essentially becoming parasites, drawing support and nutrients from their supporting structures. Experimenting with flexible materials to achieve a similar effect in a practical product, Rozenfeld settled on heat-manipulated PVC.
The PVC Parasites series is comprised of four unusual lamp designs, each using the plastic pipes to mimic the gripping action of vines. Heated with an industrial fan heater, the temporarily flexible PVC is twisted around the base and allowed to harden in place so that it holds on without the need for any glue or connectors.
“At first, I focused my research on closely observing my living environment, with an emphasis on taking trips to the Ben Shemen Forest. There I looked for different connections between living creatures in the forest and inanimate objects like rubbish, or the connection between different stones and plants,” Rozenfeld told Telavivian.
“I sorted out the different connections in diagrams, and the research drew me to focus on different parasites in the forest: natural parasites and ‘industrial parasites’, meaning the rubbish. That’s how I got to the PVC tubes, of which there is plenty in the forest. I simultaneously worked at home and made a lot of attempts to connect between the materials (tubes in different sizes and raw or processed wood). I made the connections by heating the tubes with a bonfire and sort of fixed them onto the wood in different ways. For instance, the tubes can grasp the tree branches and the plastic can be inserted into the clefts at the trunk of the tree.”
In addition to mimicking the mechanical actions of vines as they grow up other plants, the designs reflect the persistence that can enable some forms of life to survive and thrive, even in the harshest conditions. The series includes a floor lamp with a hanging fixture, a minimalist wood clamp lamp, a table lamp with a classic shade and a tube lamp. All of the designs are available for sale on Etsy.
“Design is the search for another way to do basic daily activities and the creation of new habits of operation,” reads the designer’s website. “Using elements from different worlds for the purpose of the product with the help of form, mechanism, color and technology.”