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INTERVIEW: We Talk to Lumio Folding Book Lamp Creator Max Gunawan
Posted By Marc Carter On July 2, 2014 @ 12:20 am In Design,green gadgets,Green Lighting,Green Products,Innovation,Interviews,San Francisco | 1 Comment
We recently reported on the Lumio lamp, an innovative LED lighting fixture that folds out of a portable and stylish wood hard-bound book. The Lumio was designed by Max Gunawan, a San Francisco-based designer with a penchant for multi-faceted, multi-functional products. To jumpstart the production of his Lumio lamp, Gunawan recently launched a Kickstarter campaign. In just two weeks, Gunawan has already been met with success, pulling in over $330,000 — nearly six times his target goal. Just last week, we visited the designer at his studio where he spoke to us about the inspiration for his design, his efforts to bring his idea to market, and his future plans.
We met up with Max at the Techshop  in San Francisco, CA to see the Lumio  first hand. At first glance the lamp looks like a simple hard-bound book or journal, but once you open it, the book unfolds several pages of non-tearable paper that are illuminated by an LED light source. When the book is fully open, the LED  light shines so bright that it is able to provide a perfect alternative to a traditional lamp. Even better, the hard wood cover is also a magnet, which means that you can attach the lamp to any metal surface. A re-chargeable lithium-ion battery  keeps the lamp illuminated for up to eight hours between charges.
To kick off production of the Lumio , Max launched a Kickstarter  campaign earlier this month and the response has been incredible. Max’s initial goal of $60,000 was met within the first 24 hours, and in less than a week, the campaign  topped over $200k. The Lumio  lists for $95 and you can choose between three wood finishes: Blonde Maple, Warm Cherry and Dark Walnut.
Max: I’ve always been fascinated with objects or architecture that can be transformed into multiple shapes and serve multiple functions. I was inspired by this project called the rolling bridge in London by Thomas Heatherwick (designer of the London Olympic cauldron). There’s something so unexpected to see – what appears to be – an urban sculpture unfold into a bridge. At its core, Lumio  represents this very same idea but on a much smaller scale: a beautiful object that unexpectedly transforms into a functional device.
I was developing a concept for a modular folding home that you can fit into a compact car . Unfortunately, I didn’t have the capital that I need to develop a working prototype for the folding house. Having read “The Lean Startup,” I pivoted the idea into a smaller scale object that people can enjoy.
I had these folding paper models that I used to carry around in my Moleskine sketchbook. It dawned on me one day that a book would be a great way to package this idea of a collapsible light fixture: it’s compact, has that visceral connection with the idea of a “book that illuminates” and has that unexpected element of surprise.
Max: It took about eight months in development before I landed on the “final” prototype. I’m still incorporating new upgrades that will improve the user experience. For example, I recently upgraded the charging system from a standard adapter to a universal USB charger.
That’s the great thing about Kickstarter , it provides me direct access to an engaged group of end users. They provide valuable insight on ways to improve the product.
The biggest challenge during the design development was translating the concept into a functional device that is simple in design and works intuitively. Simplifying and subtracting unnecessary details tends to be harder than adding more features.
Max: Quality is my priority and I am partnering with suppliers that have a great reputation. Dupont  is providing the Tyvek  material that makes up the body of the lamp. It is a highly durable material that is 100% recyclable.
I want to incorporate environmentally friendly materials like Tyvek  and FSC-certified wood from the very beginning and will continue on using sustainable materials moving forward.
Max: I see scaling up production as an opportunity. It allows me to introduce mechanization that will bring greater precision and consistency to the product. The Tyvek “pages” is the perfect example. I’ll be using a hi-tech solution to construct this element vs. the hand-crafted approach I’ve been doing at Techshop .
Max: I’m very humbled by the attention that Lumio has been getting. I really owe it to my awesome backers and fans! During the planning phase for my Kickstarter campaign , I always told myself to expect the worst but also be prepared for success.
I didn’t expect it to blow out this fast but I’m prepared and confident that I can meet the production timeline.
Max: I’d like to expand Lumio in different sizes, cover finishes, use color LEDs and also bring in technology like a solar charging  cover or wireless charging that can improve the functionality of the product. I plan to design a line of add-on accessories that will allow consumers to use their Lumio as an interchangeable module as part of a lighting system. I also have an idea for Lumio v.2. that I’m very excited about. More to come on that!
Max: Outside Lumio, I want to continue exploring the idea of transforming everyday objects with unexpected uses in other product  categories. I’m very passionate about architecture  and want to bring in a fresh new take on spatial design and buildings.
I also want to continue working on my design for the folding modular house. I envision coming up with a house (along with its furniture) that you can pack flat and fit into your car. It’s like having a home-in-a-box that you can carry around. I’m hoping to have a working prototype some time next year.
+ Lumio 
Article printed from Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com
URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/interview-we-talk-to-lumio-folding-book-lamp-creator-max-gunawan/
URLs in this post:
 Techshop: http://www.techshop.ws/
 Lumio: http://inhabitat.com/lumio-hard-bound-book-unfolds-to-unveil-a-low-energy-lamp/
 LED: http://inhabitat.com/index.php?s=LED
 lithium-ion battery: http://inhabitat.com/index.php?s=lithium-ion+battery
 Lumio: http://www.hellolumio.com/
 Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lumio/lumio-one-lamp-multiple-forms-infinite-possibiliti
 car: http://inhabitat.com/transportation/
 Dupont: http://www2.dupont.com/home/en-us/index.html
 Tyvek: http://www2.dupont.com/Tyvek/en_US/index.html
 solar charging: http://inhabitat.com/index.php?s=solar+charging
 product: http://inhabitat.com/products-2/
 architecture: http://inhabitat.com/architecture/
 + Lumio: http://www.hellolumio.com
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