The making of ‘Bobber’

One of the best feelings for a designer is to see their designs coming into life. Product and Form 2 is one such course offered by CoID which gives students the opportunity to make their designs real, opportunity to work with the original materials and manufacturing process. The course is conducted by Simo Puintila. This course is spread in the duration of an entire period and the end of the course is marked with an exhibition of all the projects. This year students prototyped the Lamps. It was great to see how different lamps reflected the different personalities of each student. It was good to learn about different materials, their behaviour and different manufacturing processes by sharing each other’s projects. The Lighting projects from this year are exhibited in Kerava Art museum. Everyone came up with unique concepts and we got a chance to learn in detail about Saara Ollila’s experience who was one of the students of this course

“Working in a company as an industrial designer, I’m hardly involved in the manufacturing of the products since the two parts of the process are somewhat separated. However, I believe it’s the designer’s responsibility to understand the demands and possibilities of materials and the manufacturing methods for being able to create working solutions and sensible products. I found this course to be a great possibility for hands-on experimenting with the limits of materials and means of making.


I was inspired by timeless classics with rather a simple idea or function and started concentrating on the idea of removing all the dispensable elements of the lamp. During our excursions, I got inspired by the mood of indirect light combined with strong contrasts and started focusing my ideation on discovering a creative way of using reflections.

My findings of the latest lighting design trends made me wonder if traditional lamps will be outdated with lighting systems integrated into architectural elements of spaces and buildings. Even though the current trend in public spaces is much about getting rid of separate lighting components, I believe that lamps are, and will still be important decorative elements in private households. Nonetheless, I found the idea of integrating light to an existing component intriguing and worth contemplating.

The pictures of ‘making of ‘bobber’ by Saara Ollila


My goal was to design an elegant and easily recognizable lighting element merged with an unexpected source of light. Since I had also been exploring contrasts and combinations of different materials, I ended up integrating the light source to the second material of my lamp by using reflections. Ambient Bobber-light has a timeless shape of a traditional lamp shade with a light source integrated to its construction, generating an illusion of a missing light bulb. A hidden led-strip reflects the light into the white acrylic cylinder creating a smooth indirect light. When the lights are on, the upper part fades away into darkness highlighting a floating light circle.

As simple as my product plan seemed to be, it required me to fix most of the parts by myself from folding acrylic in the oven to building the led strip from scratch. The experimental nature of my project got me to work extensively with different materials and machinery. Luckily there were many people helping me through the process, and even in occasional moments of despair, it was easy to get consultation and backup for my numerous questions and disbelief. As a person who rather learns by making I found this project to be very rewarding, and an exceptional opportunity to try new things and materialize an experimental product.”

-Saara Ollila

(An Industrial designer at Wärtsilä , Student of CoID)