Rícino is a collection of seemingly ethereal lamps made from plant-based castor oil resin. The idea brings to light the living aspect of the material, highlighting its aesthetic qualities and proposing an alternative application to its originally technical use.
The project is born from the interest of the Estúdio in natural resins, a research that has been conducted since 2018. The search for a malleable material highly resistant to temperature variations resulted in finding the plant-based castor oil polymer. Its thermal stability, allied to its ambar, see-through appearance, inspired the development of the collection, which carries the resin as its centerpiece.
Developed by the University of São Paulo, the material is used mainly in the construction industry as a varnish or sealant. Features such as its physicochemical stability, elasticity and adherence to porous materials make this polymer very efficient in sustainably replacing oil derivatives. An attentive look, however, might see beyond this function: when placed against the light, the material produces a warm, airy orange light.
From this perception, studies were carried out to understand the usability, behavior and limitations of this material, aiming to enable the manufacturing of large quantities of resin mass. Over the last few years, several experiments have been conducted to adapt its features and potential capabilities for use in design.
The result is a collection of table, wall and floor lamps made of resin filters supported by aluminum structures. The project was technically developed and finalized with the aid of 3D modeling software, which made it possible to calculate mass and volume for the production of the molds and pieces. The lamps are lit linearly by an integrated LED system.
Of the forms, textures, densities and tones studied, the final result explores the force of matter, without losing touch with softness. The filter design uses the volume of material to create color gradients which vary along the body of the lamps. In addition, the irregular design of the pooled edges is intended to capture the casting process, conserving the initial liquid state of the resin. This allows the final shape of the piece to tell the story of its production process.
Rícino is an ongoing research, intended to explore new possibilities for the use and application of renewable materials.
Castor oil polymer, aluminium structure and integrated LED light system
2020 - 2022