Copper mesh modelling – modular forms.




I created two hollow, layered models that fitted within each other that could be separated easily by hand. I wanted to use these forms against a light source to see how the copper mesh would affect the light’s distribution and also to see how the scale, shape and modular method of them effected the user experience. I asked a fellow designer and a friend for their opinions.

Daisy Gregson (fellow design student specialising in user experience design) and Liam Wiseman (Student studying a PGCE to teach primary education).

What do you think about the lamp here ?

D- I think the material creates an interesting pattern on the surrounding surfaces, the form is natural and organic. I don’t Instantly know that I should take off the larger shell but I think curiosity would push the user towards doing so.


D- Once removed I didn’t initially know what I ‘should’ do with the extra piece, but I understand that your aim would be for this piece to light up independently on removal or to attach to the existing form to change the effect of the light. I think the option is great and the interaction would attract and intrigue a user, but making the options clear will be a key to success.


L- I think the light looks best when it’s spreading through both forms, it’s a warmer glow. They look very sculptural when they lean against each other.


D-I think it works even if they aren’t individually fitted with lamps because in this case the material is reflective and so catches the light even when placed next to a lamp.


L- The layers create interesting shadow that also makes the light spread gradually up the shape. I think by layering more the light  could be less concentrated at the bottom.

D- Yes I agree  I think if you where to use the bandage style of layering the light could be directed up the form more evenly.

I also used the copper mesh to make two smaller, moving models. The C shaped models wiggle on the surface when tapped by the human hand. I wanted to look at a different kind of interactivity between the user and the luminaire. These could be lamps that are switched on by a movement sensor, a fun, quick way to use light that also takes away the danger normally related to  touching a lamp.



L- I like the way they wiggle and dance when you touch them. If they where lights they would almost be adult toys !.

D- Liam’s right they are very playful, they would need to be aesthetically pleasing and well crafted to appeal to the adult audience but I think a combination of these things would create great lamps.

Here is a link to a video of Daisy and Liam tapping the models and watching them wiggle :

The Results.

The model making and user testing where both very informative, they pointed out the positive design elements but also the more detailed view of an everyday user.  Going forward the points I will need to consider will be added to existing thoughts and concerns around my modular lighting brief :

1. Metallic, opaque or reflective materials allow light to carry across forms. This could simplify the electronics needed at only one light source would be enough.

2. Playfulness and interactivity should be considered but should not outweigh the key market needs of a domestic lamp – to provide light and to visually/physically appeal.

3.Layering the material was an effective way of distributing light but also creating a strong form. This method could be experimented with using a variety of materials.

4. There should be consideration around the usability aspect of modularity. Should and how it would be obvious what you should do with each lamp as you uncover them ?, should it be a free choice for the user to decide ?, forms could interact in natural ways to hint at the best placement options.

5.Power source needs to be chosen ASAP. The lamp used here is an energy-saving every day lamp used in domestic and professional environments, it’s not very strong but it is a white light. Defining a definite light source will allow more precise experiments and show how the correct lamp works in relation to various materials.


This entry was published on March 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm. It’s filed under Final Major Project, Projects and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Copper mesh modelling – modular forms.

  1. Interesting to see, copper has such a warm colour, I think this could become great lamps, both cosy and cool. Good luck with the developments!

  2. Good blog with some intriguing information. I’ll be back.

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