Spotlight

Lamba

Kalkidan Tesfaye
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The term ‘Lamba’ is used for a traditional and primitive way of lighting system which is dominantly used around the rural areas of Ethiopia. The lighting system is natural gas based and contained in a bottle with a string immersed in the gas. It is one of the oldest lighting technique that inspired our startup, Lamba Studios. Lamba studios took its first steps in product designs by creating lighting fixtures and lampshades from easily available materials which aligned with the brand name “Lamba”. The concept and ideation of Lamba is highly dependent on trial & error experiment process with prototypes as its end result.

January 1st 2016 was a monumental day for Lamba Studios as it held the first experimental showcase event at Morning Star Mall. The event served as an expose of the experimental phase of the studio. We presented various experimentations that were done at Lamba Studios for over a year. Different shapes, geometries patterns, textures, light and shadow as well as nature were covered in the experiment which in the end captured inspirations which gave rise to the lighting fixtures.

In this experimental process one of the conceptual product that stood out was the lampshade designed in the form of the sun with its rays protruding out. The product aimed at experimenting with light and shadow that is coming out of a tunneled and chamfered pipes. This was constructed from paper rollers which are readily available, durable, and recyclable materials.

Stacking the chamfered cylinders was the interesting part of the whole concept of the product. The spherical stack created a sun like figure especially when light went into the individual pieces. The sun product was made of recycled papers and was one of our pioneer experiments, as it portrayed process and detailing. The first exhibition was done in such an experimental way, to convey Ethiopian tradition, culture, and locally available materials.

Currently Lamba is engaged in various sectors such as product design, industrial prototypes, and community based functional units. The studio also designs and crafts home elements such as lightings, succulent vases, wall arts, fabric based curtains, pillow cases, light stands, simple furniture and wall mount fixtures. As lighting is the primary focus of the studio, it currently is engaged in creating home lighting elements such as lampshades, corner stands and bed side lamps. These products aim to create a cozy and warm living space with interesting shadows. The studio also produces cutleries such as plates and bowls which are mostly made of clay.

Lamba studios is also known for its wooden coasters which have successfully sold out at various retail stores. These coasters are designed in different sizes and shapes. Apart from these designs custom orders which aim to promote Ethiopian culture and language such as names and Amharic alphabets are engraved based on requests from customers. Aside from product designs Photography is another service provided by Lamba Studios where different faces of Ethiopia is captured by the photography department which are sold to different businesses such as real estates and office complexes.

Lamba Studios is currently supplying its products to a number of prominent individuals and businesses across the country. The studio is currently working with the renowned Chef Yohanis for his culinary set up for his restaurant projects. Moreover Safeway supermarket is also one of our retail store partner while Lamba studios also has E-commerce store at Helloo Market, Ethiopia.

In the future, Lamba studios aims to open a worldwide retail store in order to sell Ethiopian artifacts and contemporary home elements that define the culture and traditions of the country. This is the vision it plans to achieve in the coming decade.

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© April, 2021 Ketema Journal

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