A Spark of Life: Teresa’s Van Dongen Innovative Lighting Design – The Amsterdam based designer launched an amazing new product that is the true combination of design and biology. Using living bacterias she could come up with a lamp that no longer needs plugs!
Born on the 18th of April 1988, Amsterdam, Teresa Van Dongen was passionate about nature and science all along. It even made her choose biology after her high school education. There she discovered that there are many secrets that remain unknown and that the great developments in the field of science very often don’t make it outside. Besides her scientific passion, she was a creative person, with hobbies such as scenography, sketching and interior design. All this together lead her to apply in 2010 for the Design Academy Eindhoven and in October 2015, a proud winner of a Dutch Design Award in the Young Designer‘s category.
Fascinated by light’s translation of energy, glass transparency and physics, Teresa Van Dongen has never given up to understand the languages of physics, chemistry and biology. And puts together all her fascinations into impressive lighting design pieces. Her work is a mirror of who she was and who she is.
Her newest project Spark of Life is a true innovation in Led Lights. Since electrochemically active bacteria can emit small electrical currents in their metabolism while cleaning waste water, she explored these bacteria in order to generate electricity for domestic use. That research led to the creation of Spark of Life, a lamp that emits light without needing electricity plugs.
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This bacteria, which is contained in four compartments inside the spherical lamp, constantly emit small electrical currents. These electrical currents are captured inside an electrode, which sends the energy towards LEDs in the middle of the light.
This so called “living lamp” only needs a little maintenance – to add a teaspoon of acetate every two weeks and new water every month. A small effort for energy and light. An interesting perspective about this is that having to feed and thus take care of your lamp could result in a closer relationship between the lamp and its user.
Winning the project Keep an Eye grant, Van Dongen can continue to develop her newest work Spark of Life into a consumer friendly product.
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