"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein

Lamp Design

Lamp – Product Design

Introducing Mushroom-Lava Lamp

Design Concept/Problem:

My user case for this project is my friend, Pia. She requires a reading lamp. Her interests inspired me and matched the concept I decided upon and thus I planned to design a lamp for her through some of the concepts that I thought of by attempting the variant steps in this unit. After taking a look at her interest, I decided to add bits of each of her interests. I designed a lamp that is an amalgamation of nature, science, music, architecture, and reading. The lamp has a mushroom figure which relates to nature and with the melting-like feature of the shed, it is perceived as melting lava; since the top of the lamp is supposed to be lamp lava that relates to science. The lava-like droplets of the shed also can be perceived as melting wax of a lit candle; a real-life example. The base of the lamp is a vinyl player since it is supposed to be a reading lamp, therefore, adding a music element to the project.

Design and Constraints:

I started off by building my design into a real-life lamp that my user would utilize and eventually landed on how it would match my user’s style and aesthetics. For the constraints part, I did not have a varied range of materials to pick from since the materials I required for my design were very specific and high budget, therefore I could not implement the Lava Lamp and Vinyl elements in my prototype and the mushroom shape was also not well defined. Due to all of these constraints, I was able to understand that my design is very complicated and I would have to alter the design to reduce such complications.


I have gathered all of my inspirations and ideas as well as notes for developing a lamp for my user case – Pia, that fit into her best interests and aesthetics in this Padlet. It includes my brainstorming a wide range of ideas and innovations to work on my product. They helped me innovate new ideas from them by relating them to nature and things around me. The Padlet mentions my inspirations and why they inspired me:

Made with Padlet

Thumbnail sketches:

Deliberating on various ideas and putting them on paper helped me decide upon the various concepts. Following this, I shortlisted the concept that would fit into my user’s requirements and aesthetics.


Mind mapping helped me define the characteristics of the product more efficiently by permitting me to analyze the sub-parts/systems of the overall product. It helped me visualize the concepts in a detailed manner, thinking about each and every aspect of the glasses to refine my design. Therefore, I could work upon individual parts of each product that inspired me and helped me to integrate these parts for an advanced product for the problem.

Refining and Generating Ideas:


In scamper, I provided information about how I might edit the product by using the techniques that scamper stands for. It helped me combine, magnify and eliminate all the ideas that I selected.

Ideation Matrix:

This procedure helped ease out the planning for what I decided upon for my lamp regarding its characteristics and functionality. Taking various ideas as my inspiration, I developed upon its attributes and how they are depicted and related to the lamp.


Modeling helped me to look at my design with a new perspective altogether and made me redefine my idea well. I jotted down below the details of my modeling and how I brought it together as a lamp with an amalgamation of various ready-to-use materials.

Perspective Drawings

This is one of our practices for freehand perspective drawing which enables us to analyze the model in a 3D render and develop upon it.

Isometric Sketches:

Through this process, I was able to project my lamp from different perspectives and also decide upon the dimensions.

Orthographic Projection

After creating a couple of orthographic projections, I was able to think about the minute details, such as how the bulb will be fixed into the socket of the trunk and the shed of the lamp; making it real with the materials available. It helped me perceive the lamp well leading to a well-defined plan for the project.


After planning, I recognized certain areas that I had to work on and started thinking about the dimension for each article of the project for the prototype.

Since the 3D printer is relatively small in height; 14 cm, I had to divide the trunk in half so that I could attain the height for my lamp which I desired. Although, I decided not to print out some of the elements of the project since they did not match what I was looking for. The articles that I did not print were the base.

Elements of the project:

These were some of the major elements of my project which I was not able to include in my final prototype due to lack of resources.

Vinyl Base:

I decided to design the base of the lamp a vinyl player so that it had an additional feature of music to it. Since it is a reading lamp, music could be played while reading.

Lava lamp Shade; Mushroom structure:

I planned to add a scientific element to my design which is also exciting to observe; a lava lamp. It is a wonderful way to present science in a fun way and it worked as a lamp as well! Combining chemistry + elements of light, this combination could not have been better. This also had a feature related to a mushroom and candle, the shed and melting-like features of a mushroom and melting droplets (which also represent lava) relate to a lit melting candle.

Mushroom-Lava Lamp


Shed Material:

Since there were some constraints, therefore, I could not make my original design with a lava lamp but instead, I decided to make the shed for my prototype close to what it should be like according to my design. To give this effect, I decided to use bubble wrap and styrofoam plastic to make an effect like lava and add colors. For this,  we picked out plastic from the collection of plastics at ISB and decided to heat-press it together so that it formed a sheet. The following pictures show our attempts.

Trial #1:

Shed process:

Shed disaster:

Since we didn’t cover the upper layer with a sheet material for the prevention of direct contact, one of our trials failed.

Shed material:

Finally, this was the shed material that I used.

Lamp Trunk:

I decided that the trunk of the lamp could be 3D printed so I started to design the trunk. I found a template on “Thingiverse”. The following is the template.

Vase template

Lamp Trunk 3D Modelling

Since the maximum height for anything to be printed in the 3D printer is supposed to be 14cm, therefore, I decided to divide the trunk into halves with different colors so that it could blend with the lava lamp. I also made the trunk hollow since the wire of the lamp is supposed to go through.

Lamp top                                                                                                                                                                             Lamp base

3D print-out:

The results:


My first trial for the design was 50% the size of the original.

Developing into a working lamp:

3D printing process

Bulb Socket:

Since I used a hanging bulb for my lamp because I thought that it suited my design the best. Although the bulb did not fit perfectly into the hollow trunk, I decided to use the cardboard pieces provided in the box of the bulb for it to stay stable and thus stuck it inside of the lamp.

The Bulb:

One of our constraints was only white bulbs. However, I believed that the color yellow-orange would suit my lamp better. Thus, I decided to spray paint the bulb.

Lamp base for wiring

My 3D design for the lamp did not include a gap/socket for the wire to go through and the lamp to stay stable. I decided to use a foam sheet and cut it into the shape of the base which would provide grip and would be easy to cut.

Mushroom-Lava Lamp


I believe that I could have worked on it more efficiently. For eg, the shed of the lamp was comparatively rough because of the indecisiveness of the dimensions. Although I tried to fix the lamp’s shade using the resources I was provided with.


Reflecting back on my design, I believe I could have made some of the elements more efficient and in a fine manner. Although, because of some of the constraints, I tried my best to work on it as efficiently as I could. It is a work that I am very grateful to perform. Product Design has taught me to refine my design skills and helped design a lamp! I thoroughly enjoyed this unit and was able to know what I could do better and improve at. Thanks to Mr. Griffin, Mr. Jerry, Ms. Su, and Mr. Julio for all the help and for making this happen! I am highly obliged to work with them.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Cherry, I’ve shared some of my thoughts with you on email. A big thank you for all of you hard work and commitment in Product Design this semester. You are developing into an impressive designer! Your ideas, skills and effort are combining wonderfully. Well done, and best wishes for the future!

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