Project Description

2020 / Lund University / Collaboration with Axel Engström

Handi is a portable task light designed for activity based workspaces where people and interior arrangement are in constant flux.

Brief
The brief was to design and manufacture a battery powered lamp using a single LED. Since it didn’t specify any context the first thing we did was to identify a context and user scenario in which a wireless LED lamp would make sense. We decided to focus on activity based workspaces since it’s an environment in which a portable task light would be useful.

Process
We started by visiting three activity based workspaces in Malmö to learn about the context we were designing for. After that we engaged in an iterative design process where we worked extensively with rough prototypes and sketches to generate and test ideas. Once we had settled on a direction we gradually transitioned to CAD and 3D printing which allowed us to further refine the design. Finally we produced a high fidelity working prototype.

Background

Activity based workspaces, offices where workers don’t have dedicated desks, are quickly becoming the new normal. These spaces are designed to create opportunities for a variety of workplace activities from focused work to meetings, presentations and socializing. Flexible furniture like rolling chairs, tables and whiteboards are essential to these spaces since the interior arrangement is subject to constant change. The lighting however is mostly fixed or impractical to move which is not an ideal for a space that is supposed to be flexible.

Inspiration

To learn about activity based workspaces we visited three of them in Malmö. We saw that they are more like playful living rooms than rigid offices and decided to bring some of that playfulness into our design by emphasizing the portability of the lamp and combining it with the homey design aesthetic we saw in these spaces.

Concept development

With a design direction in place we began exploring different ways of expressing portability in relation to a task light. We sketched rough plan views to quickly generate ideas and made physical models to further explore the ones we found the most interesting. By continuously evaluating the concepts with aesthetics, functionality and manufacturing in mind the form naturally evolved.

Refinement

As we narrowed in on a concept we gradually transitioned to CAD and 3D printing which allowed us to further refine the design. Some of the challenges we faced were to figure out the proportions, angles and transition surfaces of the handle as well as the integration of the heat sink and fitting of components while keeping function, aesthetics and manufacturing in mind.

Manufacturing

The final prototype was made of Aluminium and manufactured using a combination of processes. The handle was CNC milled, the base was CNC lathed and milled, and the shade with integrated heat sink was manually lathed, milled and drilled. All parts where sandblasted and anodized to provide a durable finish.

Assembly

Once the parts had been manufactured and the electrical components sourced we proceeded with the assembly. The trickiest part was to figure out how the electrical components worked and how to solder them together to create a reliable circuit that allowed dimming of the LED and charging of the battery.

Result

The result is Handi, a portable task light designed for activity based workspaces where people and interior arrangement are in constant flux. Handi features a dimmable LED and a battery life of up to 10 hours. It’s made of aluminium which makes it durable and light and in combination with it’s design for disassembly easy to repair and recycle.

Logo & packaging

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