Circular Lighting Report

Delta Light creates luminaires from offcuts of aluminium profiles

Delta Light MRVDV collaboration on aluminium offcuts

Delta Light has teamed up with Dutch architecture firm MVRDV to create a range of striking luminaires made from waste offcuts of aluminium profiles.

The High Profile series is a range of light fittings which ‘finds both opportunity and beauty in residual elements that would normally be cast aside’, says the firm.

Normally waste aluminium would be sent back to the supplier for recycling, but this involves more embodied energy in the recasting and transportation.

Reusing it in the High Profile range – which includes pendants, wall fittings and freestanding luminaires – has the least environmental impact.

‘The project started with the question of whether we could develop new possibilities with Delta Light’s waste material, instead of inventing a completely new product’, MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs told the Circular Lighting Report.

‘A visit to Delta Light’s showroom and factory showed an interesting contrast between the lighting, which was presented amidst a great art collection in their showroom, and the factory where raw materials, components, cables, drivers, screws, caps, packaging – in fact, everything that goes into a luminaire – was visible.

‘In particular, the stacks of aluminium profiles in various shades of white, silver, black, and gold proved to be a source of inspiration. The amazing details of these profiles are usually hidden inside the wall or ceiling; we wanted to make their beauty visible as the main feature of the new design.

‘Profile lighting is a key part of architecture, but offcuts are often a residual product. These scrap elements became the starting point of the design.

‘By varying the scale and size of the extensive Delta Light profile range, a series of luminaires could be created from this element.’

The High Profile series presents a cube-shaped pendant luminaire, a wall fixture in the shape of an arch, and a freestanding model with profiles placed side by side.

The industrial look is softened by giving the profiles a colour dip; the series comes in pink, ochre, light green and light blue among others, adding MVRDV’s well-known use of expressive colours to the usually white, black and gold assortment of Delta Light.

To make the design approach functional in the long-term, MVRDV’s technology taskforce MVRDV NEXT developed a script called the Profile Remixer which can generate possible compositions with all of the 50 types of profiles, and evaluate them with real-time data.

With this tool, the High Profile concept makes an allowance for the ongoing development and adjustment of the design, accommodating the changing availability of leftover profiles and changing demands for size, shape, and composition.

MVRDV says the name ‘High Profile’ was chosen to emphasise the process of putting in the spotlight that which is normally found backstage.

Each luminaire is made by hand, collecting precisely engineered and designed profiles. The luminaires can also be disassembled, meaning that a part of the raw materials can be reused. The design therefore invites consumers to think carefully about the materials that are all around them; to see beauty in the everyday and to see opportunity in what we usually ignore.

‘We were very surprised and at the same time very happy to see that MVRDV not only appreciated the level of precision and expertise that goes into the design and production of these profiles, but that they even wanted to bring the raw material to the forefront,’ says Peter Ameloot, managing director of Delta Light.

• Recolight offers special one-day training workshops on ‘Lighting product design for a Circular Economy’. Hosted by industrial designer Simon Fisher of F Mark, the CPD-accredited event explores the design criteria, regulations and standards to help lighting manufacturers apply and demonstrate circular economy principles in product development. More HERE.

Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.