Using everyday objects as design inspiration is nothing new, but rarely do we see it executed in such a poetic and gorgeous way as Steven Haulenbeek’s Cumulus Light Canopy made from simple white photographers’ translucent “shoot-through” umbrellas. The umbrellas, which can be arranged in various configurations and numbers, making the system fully scalable, creates a cloudlike form (hence the name ‘Cumulus’) while making the umbrella a playful light fixture rather than a shield from the dreary rain.

Similar to the themes we discussed in our recent Reclaiming Design panel, Steven sees existing objects as starting points for good design. He says, “I believe that the elements of design already reside all around us… They are there for the taking. We just have to open our eyes and minds and like a chemist create the concoction that will render something entirely new.”

Steven also collaborates with Chicago-based design group The Mighty Bearcats, who debuted a new line of work at the annual Guerrilla Design Show in Chicago. You may also remember his Zip Tie Lights from a few months back. The Cumulus Light Canopy is part of Steven’s “Superstitious” show this Friday the 13th (get it?) in Chicago, so for all you Midwestern design lovers, come on out to 1915 S. Halsted, Chicago, Friday the 13th at 6 p.m., to see the rest of Mr. Haulenbeek’s work.

+ Steven Haulenbeek