What if power came at a cost to the individual?
The average American consumes 3383kwh of energy per year. That’s equivalent to leaving the light on in 4 rooms for a whole year. The simple flick of a switch allows us to power appliances and gadgets 24/7 without a thought to where it comes from and the cost to the environment.
Blood Lamp began as a material exploration, a personal fascination in the electrical potential of chemical energy. Whilst researching into biological energy processes, including chemi and bioluminescence, I stumbled upon Luminol – a chemical commonly used in Police Forensics to determine the presence of blood at crime scenes. When placed in contact with blood, Luminol reacts with the iron found in haemoglobin emitting a stark blue light. Witnessing the eruption of this electric blue glow triggered an idea: If we were forced to use our own blood as a source of power, how might this alter our behaviour towards energy?
Inspired by this chemical reaction I developed Blood Lamp, a critical design that challenges our perception of energy consumption by relating energy on both a physical and personal level. For the lamp to work one breaks the top off, dissolves the tablet, and uses their own blood to power a simple light. By creating a lamp that can only be used once, we must consider when light is needed the most, forcing us to rethink how wasteful we are with energy, and how precious it is.
Blood Lamp is thus not meant as a genuine consumer product, as has sometimes been incorrectly written, rather a debate piece in its purest form – a product that, via its inherent interaction, makes us question the consequences of our actions.
Graduation project, 2009