Learning a strong sense of design can sometimes be attained by working with more rugged materials. Finding beauty in transforming rugged into a warm winter light is an amazing lesson in design. Parks Tzeng, legendary creator of user design center experiences, taught us how to create unique industrial Feng Shui lamps.

In designing and creating the lamps, we tried to maintain the original industrial qualities of the original material. We began by cleaning iron filings and black oil from the pipes to be used. If you’ve never worked with piping, you don’t know how difficult the task can be. Fortunately, we were able to clean moisture, rust, and dirt from the piping in less than 30 minutes. We found it a little different preparing an iron canvas for our designs.

To make our design functional, Parks taught us how to properly wire our creations. While we didn’t mind our creations being a shocking visual appearance, we didn’t want incorrect wiring short-circuiting experience possibly shocking our lamp’s users. Creative design is important, but user experience is important, too.

As designing began, we were also fascinated as to the amount of artistic flexibility these rigged parts created. The angles, bends, and spirals, with varying lengths of pipe woven into space turned our iron designs into actual free-standing lighting sculptures. We were in awe of our own creations as well as the handiwork of our fellow designers. Turning raw materials into a creatively artistic and functional products is why we do what we do, and this project was a reminder of that for all of us.

We used brute strength, welding, circuitry, and soldering. Turning on the lamp, with elegant Edison bulb, was the big test, to see if the wired circuit was right. That was exciting, but our product quality control was important, too, because sometimes the circuitry wasn’t quite right. That required some troubleshooting to discover problems preventing the lamp from lighting. In the end, we figured everything out, and our lamps shined as brilliantly as our proud smiles. We were proud of our creative designs, and successful craftsmanship.