July 14, 2007

Cutting edge

A sheet of paper with 1,296 cuts is the winning work at a lighting design competition here

By Trisha Suresh

LIGHT SHOW: Singing Bulbs by Liu Zhili, 27, from China, 1296 by Caitlyn Sara MacKenzie, 21, from New Zealand and a_pluglight by Yap Hock Heng, 27, from Singapore.

CALL Caitlyn Sara MacKenzie a bright spark.

Her prototype of a lamp made her the winner of the second LightTouch Design Competition on Thursday.

The contest to come up with lighting designs drew 939 entries from 53 countries. The prize was a learning trip to the Flos factory in Milan, Italy.

Flos, which designs and makes lighting fixtures for offices, hotels and stores, teamed up with DesignSingapore for the annual competition.

The seven finalists - one each from China, France and New Zealand, two from Singapore, a team of four from Italy and a duo from Korea - were chosen by a jury of local and international designers and manufacturers.

The designers spent three days here to produce prototypes of their ideas.

'I had a huge rigorous design process and used over 50 prototypes, and this is the form that I came up with,' said MacKenzie, 21, a New Zealander.

Her winning work, titled 1296, is a lamp made of one sheet of white paper with 1,296 cuts, emphasising the ability to create a complex organic form from one simple material.

'I love Ingo Maurer's designs. It is quite organic and he uses paper as well. I was also looking at Japanese lanterns and lights, and nature for inspiration for my work,' she adds.

Maurer is a German lighting designer who does innovative light installations.

MacKenzie, an industrial design student from Victoria University of Wellington, was born in Singapore but relocated to New Zealand three months after.

One finalist, Singaporean Terence Woon, 24, drew inspiration from the harmony and curves of the bonsai plant.

'Being shortlisted as a finalist is a privilege in itself and I'm not taking anything for granted,' says the recent graduate in industrial design from the National University of Singapore. He is now looking for a job in the same field.

The top seven entries are exhibited at Space Furniture, Millenia Walk, till July 22 from 11am to 8pm. Admission is free.

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