The AURA Lamp by Océane Delain and Béatrice Durandard

French designers Océane Delain and Béatrice Durandard have created the AURA lamp.

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The AURA Lamp by Océane Delain and Béatrice Durandard

Océane Delain and Béatrice Durandard. Their collaboration began when they first met in 2010 during an internship in one of IKEA’s departments in Älmhult, Sweden.  Aware of their similar approach to applied arts, they decided to put their ideas together and to participate in the inaugural edition of ADREAM, a European contest of architecture and design using eco friendly, natural materials. Awarded the first prize in the students category, their lamp collection, AURA, bears witnesses to their wish to combine design and craftsmanship in a project that is respectful of both the environment and people:, the designer, the consumer and the manufacturer.

Their is two ways the lamp can be used: as a wall appliance or suspended from the ceiling. We noticing that the light source is not pinpoint but dispersed all around the woven rattan disc. The absence of an electric light bulb is apparent in the hollow center of the lamp. Its surface is adorned with luminous bands composed of multiple spots of light. These are light emitting diodes, very energy efficient, commonly known as “leds”.

By associating design and craftsmanship, the creators make AURA a rare and unique object, not amenable to industrial mass production. This is reminiscent of the concept theorized in 1935 Walter Benjamin who predicted that the replication of an object by technical means would entail the loss of its aura as a work of art..  Océane Delain and Béatrice Durandard demonstrate that applied arts creations can perfectly well find a place in the domain of fine arts and that a blurring of the boundaries between the two can be beneficial in creative terms. The presentation of separate technical, esthetic, functional and artistic objects underlines the importance of the various phases of the AURA project and the importance of design.

The two designers are trying to sell the lamps, using local sellers and internet, in small serie and on demand. Their aim is to not enter in a commercial thinking of benefits wich would push them to enter in a mass production process, with an object made in Asia and not locally anymore. They prefere to sell really few objects in a price that respect all the actors, than selling a lot by exploiting cheap manufactuers and enter in the distribution and selling problems of a mass production object. The price of AURA is fixed to ensure respect for the working conditions of workers. Each actor is paid its fair value and no profit is enormous. AURA hasn’t been designed in an economic sense but in a sense of respect and quality that justifies its price. AURA is an ecological and ethical object, hight quality, hand made, produced in France.

AURA was born from the desire to freshen the image of traditional basketry and integrate into the home the new led light sources.

The craftsmanship, which has existed for thousands of years is used with LED sources to create a collection of hanging and wall mounted lamps. strands of rattan are replaced with flexible strips of LED lights during the weaving process, working them directly into the structure of the object.

AURA won first price in ‘adream’, a european architecture and design contest. a grant was given to the two french designers to further develop and manufacture the product. the first prototypes are on currently on exhibit at espace saint-valentin in lausanne, switzerland until march 13, 2011.

Melissa Rérat, art historian
Translation from French to English: Nicolas Hislaire
© 2011 Saint-Valentin – “Espace d’Arts Présents, Lausanne” and the author

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Visit the AURA Lamp website – here.

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