Poetic Lab and Studio Shikai, founded by the 2010 RCA graduates Hanhsi Chen and Shikai Tseng respectively, were recognised yesterday for their collaborative project Ripple lamp and awarded the first prize of €7,500. The lamp was shown at the Salone Satellite as part of Milan Design Week, a display of 700 designers under the age of 35's work.
Ripple sees a halogen bulb source shone through a rotating, hand-blown glass dome onto a wall behind. Irregularities in the thickness of the glass cause swirling, wave-like light patterns to be cast on the wall behind.
"The idea started from research of materials," said Chen. "We wanted to explore the transparency of the materials like water, plastic and glass. The beauty lies in when the glass is hand-blown rather than machine made, because then you get irregularities, which produce the patterns. Each dome is unique."
Poetic Lab were chosen as this year's winner by a jury including the co-founder of Droog Renny Ramakers, designer Benjamin Hubert and editor-in-chief of Design Report Lars Quadejacob. Previous winners of the award have included Daniel Rybakken and Stefan Diez.
Ripple was the result of extensive research into the manufacture of glass. Chen says that the two studios explored close to 20 different ways of producing the finished design.
"We've done a lot of work towards this, but the reaction at Milan was far better than we expected," said Chen. "We hope the award will make the design visible to big companies and we've already had some interest. We really want Ripple to reach the market."
Chen and Tseng also claimed third prize in the Salone Satellite awards, a rival award to Design Report's; first prize was won by Tania Da Cruz for her cork Braque acoustic tile.