Parsons New School has a reputation for honing creative talent. Past alumni include Ai Weiwei, Jeff Banks and Donna Karan, to give you a taster. Jason Kim is one such product, but the beautiful simplicity of his Plus Minus lamp project can be attributed as much to his own vision, as to his MFA in Design and Technology.
Kim showcased his Plus Minus Lamp Design Kit at the Parsons Festival 2013 in New York. A slim man, Kim has a languid grace about him, and his enthusiasm about Plus Minus was infectious.
“I learned about the basics of circuity in design,” Kim said. ” I wanted to help people understand it for themselves through something they could actively touch.”
A lot of thought has been put into the exact crafting of Plus Minus lights. At first glance, Plus Minus appears to be rather pretty light decorations for walls, with a cool DIY assembling aspect. It seemed a nice way of adding a personal stamp to your surroundings. A further look reveals that it offers a more complex experience.
The Plus Minus lamp design kit is designed as part educational tool, part home decor. This might sound odd, but the act of assembling the light actively establishes basic circuitry principles into the mind. The strips framing the light, and creating the fun house and faux lamp shapes are made of conductive electrical tape and interchangeable color LED’s -promoting a deeper understanding of how electronics work.
Plus Minus is multifaceted, in that it can be adjusted multiple ways. The light ‘cap’ can be reversed to create a bubble against the wall, rather than protruding from it, and multiple lights can be attached together all able to operate from one switch.
“It won’t cost more than 20 dollars,” Kim said. “It’s surprisingly cheap to make, it’s mostly the AC charger that drives the cost up.”
Kim is currently hoping to find a distributor, and I would love to see this kit make its way into the stores.
(NOTE: Kim also goes by Jun-Sik Kim, as well as Jason Kim).