Johannesburg-based studio Mema Designs has been hard at work in producing its latest range of high-quality lighting products. The standout design of the Ukhamba collection is the delicate yet robust Fan Lamp. The material has dynamic reflective characteristics which give the piece a weightless, veil like quality.
The Fan Lamp is handmade with a fine woven aluminium fabric. For Mema Designs, the choice of material used for its creation was crucial as that set its design apart from other products on the market. The material has a dynamic, reflective characteristic that gives the piece a weightless, veil-like quality. As each design is handmade, no two lamps are identical, making each a collector’s item.
The Fan Lamp is an extension of designers Ari Geva and Sian Eliot of Mema Designs’ Ukhamba lamp prototype, which was selected as one of the objects on display at Design Indaba Expo’s “Africa is Now” exhibition in 2014. Since then, Mema Designs has spent a year designing and manufacturing the tools necessary to make the lamps in a repeatable way.
“The tools are designed to assist the process of forming and moulding the metal for the lamp’s shade: As the material can only be formed once, our tools are used to bend the wire accurately and to crease the metal sheets.” – Mema Designs
The material and process has been our primary inspiration, along with the desire to make a light which is brilliantly functional in it’s form. The folds and pleats of the design not only provide more surface area from which the light can reflect, but also provides much greater strength to the lightweight sheet material. We wanted to create a light fitting which is not just beautiful but also highly efficient – anodised aluminium is super light weight and corrosion resistant. Having a transparent quality while bouncing the light so beautifully, has a sort of magic to it.
‘mema designs’ studio is the result of a collaboration between Sian Eliot and Ari Geva. With fourty years’ experience between the two of us, and after a year in play, research and development, we offer a unique first product to the market, the Ukhamba ‘fan lamp’.
The origin of our collaboration is simple. When we met in 2013, Ari explained that after thirty years of working as an engineer he wanted to follow his long-time dream of making art. The timing was perfect, because I (Sian) had recently discovered Arduino boards and interactive art, and needed an electronics expert to join me in my new business. My past experience as an industrial designer co-creating the willowlamp lighting system (www.willowlamp.com) and Ari’s understanding of electronics thus made up a natural foundation for this inspiring and productive collaboration. And so the journey of ‘mema designs’ began at the cusp of 2013/2014.
In February 2015 we launched our first product – the Ukhamba lighting collection – at the Design Indaba 2015.
Name: Fan Lamps
Type: Lighting Collection
Usage: Pendant light
Materials: aluminium wire / woven mesh
Materials Combination: Metal + Color, Eco / Recycled / Green
Dimensions: DIAM-500, 600, 800
Lamp Type/Light source: 5w GU 10 Warm White dimmable lamp
Colors: Mix / Multi Color