Made from shredded and recycled cardboard but fashioned like a piece of wet clay, the Pulplites lamp serves as an object lesson in paper’s potential to not only record ideas, but also to become the raw material of good design. It’s a form of material alchemy—Jasna Sokolovic and Noel O’Connell of Vancouver, who work under the name Dear Human, fashioned these colorful lights by adapting their ceramics skills to a new medium.
"The paper dictates the end results," O’Connell says of the 80 percent recycled lamps. "It’s a new medium to try something different."
The Dear Human studio shares a building with a garment factory, so when the duo began playing with paper, there were plenty of cardboard dress forms and packaging material to use—or, rather, reuse. Pulping, moulding and shaping the geometric molds was much like creating with clay; they even dry the finished product in a computer-controlled industrial kiln. A play in texture and contrast, the Pulplites lamps contain a mixture of cardboard, and in some cases, even old letters and egg cartons, with a fabric cord and ceramic cap made from scratch.
"We’re excited about the process and have a long list of ideas to modify in the future," says Noel, who wants to experiment with design while finding a way to scale production. "We’re looking to make a light shade out of white paper, and are excited about a completely paper lamp."
The Pulplites lamps are currently on display at the Of Light show at Circle Craft Gallery in Vancouver
During the course of his career writing about music and design, Patrick Sisson has made Stefan Sagmeister late for a date and was scolded by Gil Scott-Heron for asking too many questions. His work has appeared in Pitchfork, Nothing Major, Wax Poetics, Stop Smiling and Chicago Magazine.