Bao-Khang Luu's Profile

Display Name: Bao-Khang Luu
Member Since: 11/23/10

Latest Comments...

Actually, David, that's how I got started. Over a year later the vending machine guys are still saving rings for me. One lamp can use 100 to 400 rings, so I have other sources, but I'm always looking for additional ones!

Luckily, today, LDPE six-pack rings photodegrade under UV, so they'll break down into smaller pieces (supposedly at a slower rate in salt water). Also, they are recyclable, though recycling (downcycling) isn't available for them everywhere.

I'm working on getting them into a couple shops around NYC in the future. You can sign up on my mailing list or check in with my blog to stay updated.

Thanks for all your comments, David!

Six-Pack Ring Pendant Lights by Bao-Khang Luu
Design Showcase 2011

9/20/11 12:50 AM

Gosh! Thanks, bkbrownstone!

Six-Pack Ring Pendant Lights by Bao-Khang Luu
Design Showcase 2011

9/19/11 08:58 PM

Standing in the office kitchen one day I happened to glance into the trash can. A small stack of six-pack rings sat in the trash heap. I thought it was such a waste that these were used once, for one purpose, and would end up in a land fill.

The material has a pattern, is pliable and translucent. It's such a shame that something purposely designed loses value so quickly. I wanted to re-envision it's designed characteristics and keep the material fully intact. It's my way of acknowledging and honoring the thought, work, and energy put into making a disposable and seemingly insignificant object.

I collect used rings from local businesses.

Six-Pack Ring Pendant Lights by Bao-Khang Luu
Design Showcase 2011

9/15/11 11:31 AM

Thanks for the comment, thirdwheel. You hit it right on the nose!

I could have designed pendant light using new plastic, or I could have processed the six-pack rings into an unrecognizable form. But I went through great lengths to figure out a construction method to keep them whole and unaltered (no gluing, cutting, burning, melting). I wanted the material to be discernible, if you look closely at each light.

I really see charm and potential in all materials, especially things we commonly discard on a daily basis. My designs are about reappropriating and reworking materials so other people can see that potential too.

Six-Pack Ring Pendant Lights by Bao-Khang Luu
Design Showcase 2011

9/14/11 01:32 PM

Thanks for commenting, atomicranch79 and SherryBinNH.

I totally agree that a lot of upcycled things can look thrown together. I worked through numerous prototypes and construction methods to arrive at my final line. You can visit the Relevé Design website to see large photos. I'm also planning to get some lights out to a couple shops around NYC in the future so people can see them up close!

The lights are perfect for everyday use at home and definitely not meant for "one-time party use".

Individual lights are handwoven (not mass-produced) which can take up to a week.

Six-Pack Ring Pendant Lights by Bao-Khang Luu
Design Showcase 2011

9/12/11 10:02 PM

Catherine Mohr gave a great talk about embodied energy using the paper towel, sponge, cloth debate to illustrate her point. "Sometimes the things that you least expect have a bigger effect than all those other things you were trying to optimize."

10 Ways to Kick Your Paper Towel Habit
4/1/11 11:56 AM

Sometimes "upcycling" and repurposing is not the best thing you could do. I completely agree with RocketScientist. It's better to keep an object intact when it's still perfectly functional. By donating it to a charity, you are keeping it out of the landfill AND providing revenue for a charity.

How To Repurpose a Knife Block?
Good Question

3/27/11 11:38 PM

Unless you are strapped for cash in the short term, you should spring for LED light bulbs. Current prices are very manageable $20-40 for these super-efficient bulbs, and you won't them have to change for many years.

Warm light LEDs are easily found at any big box store like Home Depot. I recommend the Philips 12 watt Ambient LED or Philips 7W LED. They both provide wonderful warm light and won't emit the skin-scorching heat like CFLs, Halogens, and incandescents do.

Recommend The Best Non-Incandescent Light Bulbs?
Good Questions

3/24/11 01:14 PM

I agonize about this everyday. Luckily and unfortunately I live in NYC. This means I don't have the room to make things especially bigger things much less collect and store materials for projects. Having moved into a two bedroom recently I now have a small dedicated space for my projects. If I can't make it myself buying sustainable, high quality, hand-made, or local reduces the sting of it not being DIY.

To Buy or DIY: The Battle Rages On In Our Home!
11/25/10 03:10 AM