When designer Benjamin Spöth saw how much high-quality birch plywood is scrapped at the wholesale level, he resolved to find a way to reuse those leftover pieces. Thus, Spöth developed ‘Upcycle,’ a series of lamps handcrafted from strips of high-quality birch plywood off-cuts. The series includes a family of five lampshades with different shapes, sizes, and patterns.
Spöth starts with two-and-a-half-meter-long scrap pieces of plywood and cuts them into the millimeter-thin slices used in the lampshades. The thin, individually cut Multiplex slices are then assembled in a variety of ways. “Multiplex wood is an interesting material to work with for a lampshade,” says Spöth. “Every second layer of the plywood shines the light through the material due to the thin slices in combination with the structure of the grain.”
Spöth further manipulates the wood by steaming parts of it to make it bend in shape. The plywood grain is left visible, as are the unique cracks and stains. The five Upcycle lamps were put on show at the 2014 Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.
Images via Benjamin Spöth