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Recycled Seaweed Lamps

Seaweed is a versatile plant-like organism that is undervalued in its capabilities. My MDP is a range of recycled seaweed lamps. The shade components will be manufactured using a combination of seaweed, recycled paper and agar dried to form a fabric type material. The base of the lamps will be driftwood collected along our beaches. The aim of this project is to repurpose unwanted beach materials that otherwise would be left to rot on our shores and to create an aesthetically pleasing homeware with minimal cost and impact on the environment. I look forward to hearing your feedback.

What do you think?

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IdeaSpies @ 2021.05.05 11:41 AM

Very imaginative. This idea on IdeaSpies when you search "lamp" could give you more ideas to develop yours

R Hainsworth @ 2021.05.05 12:46 PM

Brilliant concept Jess. What type of manufactures would be most helpful? 

Have you considered contacting beach side councils that are in charge of grading the beaches in the mornings?

Can't wait to see this develop. 

GreetingCardSalesman @ 2021.05.05 2:09 PM

hi Jessica,

I like the idea of these materials being recycled.  Driftwood bases sound very bespoke and romantic.  I would want you to reassure me that the new fabric wont be attractive to pets to eat, be a fire hazard or smell funny.  I am curious as to whether you will design shades that echo seaweed in their shape and colour or plan to make them indistinguishable from other sorts of fabric.

Pascal @ 2021.05.05 4:37 PM

Hi Jessica,

driftwood is definitely in fashion with interior designers; so, you might have a market!

I wouldn't consider seaweed and driftwood as 'unwanted' on our beaches, they are part of this ecosystem...plastic waste polluting our beaches are definitely 'unwanted'. This said, I agree there is plenty of it, so better make something out of it!

have you thought about the logistics associated with the sourcing and transformation of the material (driftwood and seaweed)? what is a nice and environment-friendly solution for a dozen of lamps might become a supply chain nightmare for thousand of them...


Sabra Brock @ 2021.05.05 5:37 PM
Like the idea.  What will the bases be made of?  Driftwood?  Add shells for a nautical theme?

ReadyFundGo @ 2021.05.08 12:47 AM

We like the idea of using recycled paper and also seaweed as seaweed can be grown as well if you were to grow to such a scale that you needed very large quantities. The drift wood may be limited and some people see it as part of our ecosystem.

We look forward to seeing your first creations. If you are thinking about selling them you could  add them to our platform where you could sell a few. 

Best of luck with your venture and well done.


wayde@principals @ 2021.05.13 12:00 PM
You're tapping in to a big movement around seaweed upcycling.  While it's a bit left-field I thought I'd pass on this link to a Scottish textile designer [and recent design graduate] Jasmine Linington, who is making beautiful fabrics and high end fashion pieces harnessing an Austrian textile called SeaCell.  Seaweed fibre is the magic ingredient in this fabric.  I thought the article might spark some ideas for you about the creative possibilities for the light shades.  Jasmine Linington uses seaweed to make couture clothing (

Madeline Cunningham @ 2021.05.17 9:11 AM
Very interesting article on seaweed farming with the Climate Council, CSIRO, Future Feed and more.

Madeline Cunningham @ 2021.05.17 9:27 AM
Very interesting article on seaweed farming with the Climate Council. CSIRO. Future Feed and others

Gillian Corban @ 2021.05.18 5:56 AM

You could try talking to owners of Homewares type stores who value our need for climate action.

You could try Chris Tourgelis at Opus Design Store in Paddington for his feedback.

OPUS design P/L 
 354 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021
Ph: +61 2 9360 4803

Dave Ellis @ 2021.05.18 5:02 PM
I like the idea.  Why lamps? Are there any specific characteristics of the material that point towards lamp shades?

Rachel Worsley @ 2021.05.19 11:15 AM
What a great idea! I'll be keen to follow your project as it develops. 

GreetingCardSalesman @ 2021.05.21 7:14 AM

Hi Jessica,

depending on how interested you are in seaweed in general, you may find it interesting to see what Pia Winberg is doing in the local industry.


Jessica @ 2021.06.17 4:48 AM

Lynn Wood

Thank you for your feedback on other lamp designs and development. The link is greatly appreciated.


Jessica @ 2021.06.17 4:56 AM

R Hainsworth

I have done research on collecting seaweed from beaches and there are no rules or guidelines in regards to taking items from local beaches in the eastern suburbs. Thank you for your concerns.


Jessica @ 2021.06.17 5:37 AM


Thank you for commenting on my design for uprising.

Once the seaweed is fully dried out, there is not a funny smell. Also due to the materials the lamp will have unique texture and colours from drying out the seaweed. I also appreciate the link Pia Winberg. Thank you for sharing your concerns.


Jessica @ 2021.06.17 5:12 AM


Due to the sourcing and transporting of the seaweed and driftwood, I collected a reasonable amount of seaweed on my walks throughout the weeks according to my design time plan to follow for my MDP. Thank you for sharing your concerns.


Jessica @ 2021.06.17 5:14 AM

Sabra Brock

Yes the base of the seaweed lamp will be made from driftwood to complete the natural and uniques lamp. Thank you for commenting to my uprising design.


Jessica @ 2021.06.17 5:22 AM


Thank you for commenting on my uprising design.


Jessica @ 2021.06.17 5:38 AM


Thank you for the link. It will be really helpful in my final stages of my manufacturing of my seaweed lamp.


Jessica @ 2021.06.17 5:40 AM

Madeline Cunningham

Thank you for the website links to help with the research and manufacturing of my seaweed lamp.


Jessica @ 2021.06.17 5:43 AM

Gillian Corban

Thank you for supporting and commenting on my uprising design project for my MDP. I will look into this store for climate action.


Jessica @ 2021.06.17 5:46 AM

Dave Ellis

The lamp allows people to feel connected to nature and the beach. This enables people close or far away fro the beach allow them to remember memories or reflect.


Jessica @ 2021.06.17 5:47 AM

Rachel Worsley

I appreciate you following my design and through the manufacturing process.


R Hainsworth @ 2021.09.09 1:40 AM

Hi there Jessica, hope all is well with you and your loved ones. 

Congratulations on your MDP journey. It has been fantastic to follow the evolution of your project. We hope that being part of the UpRising initiative has been rewarding and meaningful for you. 

As we wrap up the trial phase of the UpRising initiative and head towards the awards night in November I have a few quick questions.  If you could answer these questions in a comment below that would be so great. We want to understand how UpRising assisted you so that we can better help next year's cohort of designers. We are also curious to know if there is anything further you would like to do with your project.

1.      What were two interesting things that you experienced or found as a result of being part of the UpRising? 

2.      How did UpRising help you with your project?

3.      What would you like to do with your project and what would help you get there?

4.      How did seeing other UpRising projects affect your designing and learning experience? 

5.      What would you like to see added to the UpRising initiative to better help next year's students?


One last thing, can you add in a ‘Start to Finish’ photo of your project? Stitch a photo of early drawing or prototype next to an image of your finished product and update your post with this image.

Congratulations once again and looking forward to seeing you in November. You have done an amazing job and we are very proud of the 2021 cohort. 

See you soon

R Hainsworth @ 2021.11.20 8:17 AM

Congratulations on all of your hard work this year and for being the first year 12 design students to be part of The UpRising.  The 8 judges have been busy going through all the major design projects to decide which projects should be awarded hundreds of dollars in seed funding and mentoring, to take their project to the next level. The judges have used a points system, 3 points for the project they felt was the most impressive, 2 points for a second outstanding project and 1 point for a project that really resonated with them. Three projects will be awarded Seed funding and mentoring 

  • First Place $1000 Seed funding

  • Second place 750

  • Third place 500

The winners will be assisted with the continued development of their project next year by the very cool company Nectir

We are holding an Awards night to announce the winners and we would love to have you all there. It’s online so you can join in from wherever you are. 6pm - 7pm Thursday evening 9th December. 

Click here to get your tickets. 

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Wishing you the best of luck with your final exams. Awards night is on the 9th December

IdeaSpies @ 2021.11.26 3:05 AM

Just saw this lamp Jessica that's similar to yours in some ways. Good luck in the judging and developing your product further next year.

Gillian Corban @ 2021.11.26 3:46 AM
This is a terrific Idea

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