Giorgia Rossi Industrial Design & Photography

straw lamp

Lighting Design, BA thesis project, University of Bologna, July 2016

Project Management; Benchmark Research; Hand Sketching; 2D and 3D Modelling: AutoCad, Autodesk Alias Autostudio, Alias VRed, Keyshot, Photoshop, Illustrator; Physical Modelling; Photography; Product Assessment.


"Lighting is a building material, the same as brick, glass, mortar, and so forth." 

Keyes Dewitt Metcalf Library Lighting, 1970


The brief

Design of a table lighting system for libraries: study, concept development and prototyping of an indoor lamp fixture which can both define a personal space or a sharing environment among multiple users.

The project

I have been working on this project for a couple of months, following my mentor Mario Nanni’s brief. Starting from a research around world libraries and after visiting different libraries in my city, I have observed interactions, main issues and basic requirements of existing lighting products.

I then focused on studies around proxemics: I was captured by the concern students face trying to recreate an intimate space in a public environment.


"Libraries are public spaces destined for private use, balanced between will to share and quest of intimacy. Libraries are community spaces while studying is an individual action: libraries are loneliness public spaces."

marco muscogiuri, Library architecture, 2004


Light as a material object is a basic requirement in public domains, because it can organize and define spaces, determining and influencing visitors behaviours.

I have then met my second mentor, Lorenzo Antonioni, who re-defined my brief, giving me more aspects to consider before I started sketching my first concepts. These were mainly divided in “space” and “light” aspects:


  • quality and intensity of the produced light (refraction, improper contrasts, shadows and flicker)

  • combination of artificial and natural lighting

  • manteinance


  • architectural integration

  • intimacy and sharing

  • distance between users


Then, I found an everyday object showing most of the characteristics needed in my concept: the straw. A straw is light, flexible and movable; is an example of a sharing context and can be used with one single hand.


The outcome

This metaphor, combined with an accurate material study, have informed my final concept.The product I have designed is characterized by a silicon junction which allows flexibility, freedom and mobility. The light is versatile, providing both diffused and spot light. Moreover, the product is conceived to be assembled in a group of 4 elements, physically dividing the space but still allowing each user to set the light to his preferences. Discrete materials, inspired by Nordic libraries, are eventually coherent with main of the modern library architectures.


Thanks to the support of my mentors and of the Italian company Sacla srl, which promptly provided me with materials samples and useful advices, I have managed to realise a working prototype.

Working Prototype in its environment (San Giorgio in Poggiale library, Bologna, Italy)

Working Prototype in the domestic environment

Working Prototype in the domestic environment

Finally, I wanted to curate an important aspect in the commercialization of a design piece: communication. I gave it a brand identity, naming and designing its logo. I have realized an efficient packaging and thought about a possible range for the product, including transportable and floor variants. I have also decided to give a prediction around production and retail prices, in order to verify the product feasibility. 

Variation: single and floor lamp

Variation: single and floor lamp

Brand Identity - Naming and Installation instructions


Straw has been featured in Zona Santambrogio exhibition during Milan Design Week 2018.

Read the article here!

References Mario Nanni (Viabizzuno CEO, Bologna, Italy); Dr. Lorenzo Antonioni (Bulbo Lighting CEO, Bologna, Italy).