Lean and sustainable lighting by Swinburne industrial design graduate

Friday 25 October 2019

Mudō lighting system, with shelf, in a living space

Mudō lighting system, with shelf, in a living space, image by Christoph Koch

In summary

  • Minimalist lighting designed to be extended and customised
  • Launched at 2019 Fringe Festival
  • Lean manufacture and sustainable design was key

Created by industrial designer and Swinburne PhD candidate, Christoph Koch, Mudō is a flexible, modular high-end lighting system.

The minimalist floor lights are designed to be extended and customised in multiple formats and can be combined with a small side table and bookshelf.

The idea behind the Mudō lighting system came from a modular joinery system Christoph (Chris) developed in his Industrial Design honours year in 2017. He exhibited a fully functioning, ‘ready to sell’, prototype of Mudō at the Fringe Festival in Melbourne this year.

Chris decided to develop Mudō, as a side-interest while he studies for his PhD. He is researching how industrial design fits into the future manufacturing environment and Industry 4.0.

“I have tried to implement as many of the progressive ideas and methods I am researching as possible into the design. This includes lean manufacturing techniques and sustainable practices,” says Chris.

Mudō integrates with living room furniture

Mudō integrates with living room furnitureMudō integrates with living room furniture, image by Christoph Koch

“I'm halfway through my PhD program. Developing Mudō while I study, gives me the opportunity to work hands on and to apply theory to a real-world situation and working environment,” explains Chris.

The original idea planned for the 2019 Fringe Furniture exhibition was to create a modular shelving and lighting system. Due to funding and time restrictions Chris changed the project to a lighting system. The inspiration behind Mudō came from a frustration with how lights are still designed with outdated features like lampshades.

“I incorporated a shade for Mudō in the form of a ring which touches on the traditional side of lighting design but gives a contemporary twist,” he explains.

Mudō’s circular ring touches lightly on tradition

Mudō’s circular ring touches lightly on traditionMudō’s circular ring touches lightly on tradition, image by Christoph Koch

“The entire light is made from lightweight sandblasted aluminium to create a smooth finish and is then anodised in a dark grey. The grey colouring of the floor lamp makes illumination the defining feature at night - hiding the lamp’s support structure,” says Chris.

Mudō’s oblong versionMudō’s oblong version, image by Christoph Koch

The light Mudō creates is a warm white (3000K), projected downwards for reading and upwards for indirect mood lighting. Illumination is created using a strip LED that runs along a groove in the top ring and is then diffused with an opaque white acrylic panel.

Mudo integrated bedside lightingMudō integrated bedside lighting, image by Christoph Koch

Mudō comes in three shapes and sizes, with two options for the foot design, providing for customisation. The biggest lamp is integrated with a small table that doubles as a bookshelf. The design uses recyclable materials that are long lasting and stable. Mudō can be disassembled and is easy to transport and ship.

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