Propeller Bloom, a 1500mm wide show stopping feature piece is the latest addition to the Duncan Meerding Design Propeller Light range. The light commands presence and is designed and destined to occupy high ceilinged rooms and architectural void spaces. 8 petal-inspired Tasmanian Eucalypt blades slot into a custom made black anodised aluminium central disk, gently curving out and down around a single central bulb, with a large hand-turned blackwood nose cone completing the Propellor Bloom.

This feature light was made in response to a client’s brief; they liked the Propeller Pendant light form and light effect; both the open (500 mm diameter) and the Propeller Blossom (830 mm diameter) but they wanted a bigger light with more presence to fit within a large architectural space. The challenge was to maintain the lightness in form and the independent structure, where each blade only connects into the central disk and not to one another.

The haptic feel that is central to all my designing informed the new upscaled Propeller Bloom. The fulcrum effect of the extended size of the petals/blades needed to be considered, and a new clamping system was created for the larger iteration. New techniques needed to be utilised to create the larger blades and allow for rigidity over such span, whilst still allowing a lightness in form.

This piece was made using new computer driven manufacturing techniques and technology for the reimagined central disk, whilst utilising more traditional hand driven making techniques for the timber-based parts of the design.

The original Propellor, a union of a propellor and a flower, came about through experimentation with plywood modelling, and orienting the grain in a certain way created the form that is found throughout the Propellor range. This ‘hands-on design’ technique, a process of experimenting with physical materials rather than using drawings or Computer Aided Design, is due to my being unable to draw, as I am partially blind. I visualise and use physical modelling to realise my designs, resulting in increased haptic feel informing the final form.

Light bursting through and around forms, with a concentration on over all form rather than intense details is of importance to me as a designer and reflects the alternative sensory world in which I design, being partially blind with less than 5% vision concentrated around the periphery. This light bursting from the side is showcased in this Propeller Bloom with a starburst styled pattern thrown to the ceiling above, whilst still maintaining useful light for the area below.

Whilst this prototype light was designed and made for a local client in the island state of Tasmania, Australia, where the Duncan Meerding practise is based, the large form was designed to be flat packable for ease and minimised cost in transportation.


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