Stamp Lamp - design with unique fingerprint

Generative design concept
UdK-Berlin, 2012

The 'Stamp Lamp' is an experiment to design an object that is more than only an object it is also - by concept - emotionally bound to it's owner.

The idea is based on a phenomenon that we often develop emotional connections to our objects. For example a present from someone creates an abstract link by reminding us about a specific person, or that objects can recall memories when we think about their history. In most cases these connections are developed spontaneously. In this case the goal is to create an even deeper, inherent and more predestinated connection between a person and an object.

This implies a generative design process where a person's DNA is injected as an essential component, so that his/her biometrical properties define the actual physical form of the object. To achieve this, fingerprints are used as the main source of input.

Most fingerprint identification systems don't look at the pattern of a fingerprint, but more commonly use certain points on the fingerprint for identification. These points are called minutiae, and their position to each other makes them unique. One kind of minutiae are called the bifurcations, meaning that one ridge on a fingerprint is divided into two ridges. These are the points that are in this case used to generate the form of the object. The design itself and it's generative process is strongly connected to the bifurcation minutiae. Using these "dividing" points, according to their coordinates, the structure of the lamp is divided at the position of these points. This structural shape is then pulled into 3 dimensions by a generative algorithm.

The computational part of this project involved developing custom applications in Processing and Java, where a fingerprint scanner operates as the input device. The generated 3D model of the lamp can be unfolded to a flattened 2D surface. This is the final blueprint which can be cut out of a material (e.g. paper) using a laser cutter. The last step is to manually assemble (fold the faces back) to get the final product. To make the usage with electronics globally viable, the lamp shade is compatible with the basic IKEA cord set.

Within the frames of 'Prototype - An Exhibition in the Cloud' - a collaboration between the Parsons-New York and the UdK-Berlin, StampLamp was exhibited at 'The Aronsons Gallery' (New York, November 2012) and at 'Design Transfer' (Berlin, January 2013).



The Aronsons Gallery - New York, 2012

Designtransfer - Berlin, 2013