Taking Plastic Out of the Landfills to Light Up Your Life

Jan 2012

DIY-Six-pack Pendant Lights

I’ve previously featured the work of  South African Heath Nash’s pioneering work in recycling plastic bottles into colorful lights and trash to treasure sisters Reta and Vana Howell, whose unique fusion process makes their recycled lights durable as well as beautiful. On a recent Nate Berkus show, it was exciting to see just how mainstream this concept has become.

The talented artist and life-long upcycler, Bao-Khang Luu of Relevedesign.com was featured on his show in mid December. His segemnt was so exciting for a lifelong DIYer to watch.  Relevé Design transforms commonly discarded materials into new unique lighting, home accessories, and furniture. By combining a  a hefty dose of design and creativity with discarded plastic, he repurposes unwanted objects into beautiful lighting that just happens to be eco-friendly as well. Imagine being inspired to create these six pendant lights after glancing into your trash in the morning.  That’s a different kind of light bulb going off! “It’s such a waste they get thrown out after being used just once to keep soda cans together. The plastic has an interesting shape. It’s pliable and translucent. I figured out a simple way to highlight the six-pack rings’ attributes and lift them to a wonderful new use,” remarks the talent behind Releve design. 

Originally inspired by his handy father working around the house, Boa looked to the Block Lamp of Harri Koskinen, and the work of George Nelson’s iconic bubble lamps and gave them an modern eco-friendly twist. The plastic rings are joined together on used plastic take-out lid frames, old soda cans, twist ties and then are connected by a cord covered in a sleeve knit from plastic shopping bags.Bao’s ability to take the concept of up cycling from start to finish in his designs is remarkable.   A beautiful diffuse light is emitted from energy-efficient LED’s, which let off little to no heat {which could melt the plastics}and have a long-lasting bulb life.

Relevé Design offers collections in limited edition. Each collection focuses on one type of discarded material up cycled into one type of object.  Bao has a step by step tutorial on his blog generously sharing  how to make your own six-pack pendant light.  I have my son saving six-pack rings for me and just hope he’s not able to get the required 60 to me too quickly!

What a delight to find a talent who is not only up cycling trash, but kindly providing easy to follow instructions letting us all join in on the fun! I look forward to seeing the upcoming projects Bao has on tap-especially Part 2 of the Origami Accessories.

Photo credits: Releve Design