This table lamp concept by Miriam Aust beautifully joins the functionality of a lamp and a vase. Known as the “Vase & Leuchte” (which translated from German to Vase and Lamp), the design is an eye-catching yet simple centerpiece. Composed of a clear glass vase, the lamp is filled with water, aquatic plants, and a waterproof light bulb. The effect of the aquatic plants being lit up from below the water’s surface has a curious appeal. I would not be too surprised if the light is intense enough to damage the plant roots, but perhaps they are hardy enough to handle the exposure.
Miriam Aust and fellow designer Hanna Krüger work together at Wird-Etwas, a group that follows a motto that reminds me a lot of my high school physics classes:“Something emerges from something” or in German: “Aus etwas wird etwas“. The designers write: “Everything new that we create as acting people in a certain social context refers to existing materials, objects, and ideas of this world….The emerging is always reference to the existing.”
The next question is naturally, how does the “Vase and Leuchte” relate to the Wird-Etwas motto. Well, the aquatic plants growing inside the vase are warmed by the lamp’s light while still allowing some of the light to disperse into the surroundings. The contrast of the light with the shadow of the roots acts to highlight the plant’s appearance. The form and fragility of the plant is clear to the viewer. I believe the lamp asks passers by to look at the plant and its slow growth. The plant becomes the center of attention rather than a decoration in the corner. Then again, my affinity for plants makes me a pretty biased observer.