Berman trashlight

They say there is beauty in simplicity, and comfort in familiarity, but bringing together the tapering cylinder of a standard-shaped floor lamp with the inverted sister-shape of a convenient gargbage can might be more disconcerting than appealing as a design idea. Quoth its creator: “you can learn a lot about someone by looking through their trash.”

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos

Nonetheless, there is something compelling about it – even if its designer Craighton Berman intended it more as a conversation piece that illuminates our wasteful habits than a functional contemporary home furnishing. Whether intentional or not, though, it is a simple way to save space – having one object serve two essential functions for virtually any living room.

Berman lamp and trash can in one

There are some drawbacks, however – not least of which is the looming question of how to get the trash back out of the can without breaking a light bulb in the process – let alone getting a bag to fit inside in the first place. Solve those problems, though, and you might have a serious contender for the floors of Ikea in the making.

Description via designer Craighton Berman, whose other work you should definitely check out:

Berman trash curation

“Trashlight merges two household icons—the floor lamp and the trashcan. This unlikely combination brings the user’s garbage out into the domestic setting and illuminates it for examination by yourself and others. Trashlight takes transparency to an extreme— nothing is secret anymore, not even your waste.”

“What happens when we are forced to interact with our trash after we have ‘thrown it out’? What does our garbage say about us—are there things we are ashamed of admitting we consume? What happens when we have to ‘curate’ our trash—burying things we want to hide and surfacing things we’re proud of? Finally, does putting our trash in the spotlight force us to further consider the nature of consumption and disposability?”