The Tiny Miracles of Pepe Heykoop

As the nights draw in, our thoughts increasingly turn to light. Not only are we coming up to Bonfire Night, but Diwali, the Indian festival of light is also approaching (on Tuesday, 13th November in case you were wondering).

This takes leads us nicely on to the rather eye-catching design work of Pepe Heykoop, the 28-year-old rising star of Dutch design. Pepe’s new ‘From Waste to Wonder’ collection includes a number of lovely lamps.

As well as being interested in the link between design and art – his pieces are nice to look at – Pepe’s pieces are striking because they usually involve recycled materials.

Some of the lights from his collection include a menorah made from salvaged wood (great for that other festival of light: Hanukkah), the copper lampshade made from slices of bamboo held together with recycled copper wiring, leather lampshades, and the gigantic but elegant ‘Lightness of Being’ balanced-arm lamp.

His work might be made from largely recycled or salvaged materials, but has been winning design prizes and can only be found in upmarket design shops.

Ethically, Pepe’s work is second to none: as well as using recycled materials, all his products are made in a workshop in a slum in Mumbai (Bombay), India.

To create this workshop, he teamed up with Tiny Miracles Foundation, a Dutch charity that hopes to help the impoverished Pardeshi community to break out of their cycle of poverty. He hopes his workshop will provide employment for the slum-dwellers and profits will fund a local school too.

His ‘Restless Chairacter’ – a flexible chair that adapts to the user and environment – won the d3 contest at the 2009 IMM Cologne, international furnishing show. The following year his colourful ‘Brickseries’ chairs and chandalier made from wooden children’s playblocks won a special mention at IMM too. Pepe Heykoop’s work really does seem to combine figurative and actual light.

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