You Won’t Believe What These Lamps Are Made Of

What happens when you add ingenuity and biology to industrial design? Jan Klingler’s custom lamps could be one possible answer. Made to resemble Petri dishes and test tubes, his lamps showcase samples of bacteria. These samples are swabbed from people, places or things that hold a position of importance, and are grown into a unique piece in the form of commissioned work.

According to Klingler, when producing a piece for commissioned work, the customer is very much involved in this process, choosing the colors that grow and the bacteria swabbed. “The possibilities are as individual as each one of us,” he writes on his website, noting that you can swab anything from the location of a first date, a personal souvenir from a memorable journey, or the remainder of loved one far away.

After a growth period of 24 to 48 hours, the microorganisms are fully sealed within resin to stop the growth and to preserve them for eternity. An LED light source incorporated into a custom silicone plug highlights the visual quality of the growth pattern and colors from above or below.

“We all consist of 10 times more bacteria than human cells,” reads his website. “Every living being and place has its own unique and personal microbiological fingerprint. In a crossover between science, art, and industrial design, the bacteria lamp uses this fact to create stand out conversational pieces.”

With our lives dictated these days by the spread of viruses and bacteria, Klingler’s lamps take on a whole other meaning. Take a look for yourself: