About//Medusae Collection

Taken from an interview with Victor Van Gasbeek

Medusae Pendant Lamps: Interview with Californian designer Roxy Russell

Her inspiration for these lamps of course came from the ocean;

“The ocean is such a boundless source of inspiration for myself and many other people, in all fields. Unfortunately, I am also very concerned about the fragile state of it’s very complex eco-system.

I wanted to bring to the surface, and illuminate the growing problem of plastic polluting our oceans in a way that makes people inspired to help. We have a floating island of plastic garbage in the Pacific that is twice the size of Texas. Up to 70 percent of this plastic is below the surface, broken down into tiny pieces,becoming a toxic part of the eco-system. Countless fish and birds die from mistaking these bits for food.

This is an opportunity to look at how we might be contributing to the problem. Most people think it’s ok to use plastic bottles because they throw them in the recycle bin or think someone else will, but what they don’t realize is that much of the plastic that is manufactured never gets recycled.

Many times when we think “eco” or “going green” we think of what’s on the surface, where we live…with this series I’d like to inspire people to look a little deeper.”

Your inspiration for these lamps came from the ocean and you express your concern about the vast amount of plastic in the ocean, yet your product for the most part consist out of plastic?

“Yes, A very good and valid question. It is made from the very element I am most concerned about clogging up our oceans! It is made of a form of PET, a recyclable plastic.

I did see the irony in this, but also the poetry.

The way I see it is this:

I don’t believe the PET is an evil material, it is the way we use it. We will never be able to completely eliminate something as versatile as plastics. The reason that they are used up to a large extent and considered ‘environmental friendly’ is because it is safe, non-toxic, doesn’t have plasticizers, and don’t contain heavy metals. Of course, the main advantages of this polymer are that these can be recycled.

We must, however put more thought into how disposable it is, and it’s role in our everyday lives. For example, we know we need to drink water everyday in order to survive, why are most people still using disposable containers to hold their water? It’s such a new thing too, for centuries we had canteen’s, animal skins etc, to hold our water. Now, we forget so easily that we are creating this waste every time we need to hydrate! I personally, always keep reusable container’s for my water needs, and always bring my own bags to stores, even when it’s not for groceries.

The lights are an example of how delicate and beautiful our ocean life is. The use of plastic in such a way shows a middle ground in the ways we use our technologies. And hopefully elevates it, in a way…

What kind of “eco” choices did you make concerning material, manufacturer and packaging?

  • It is not a disposable item, but it is made of materials that can be separated for recycling, as opposed to hybrid materials which cannot be broken down to recycle. (Note: I am now using a thin aluminum for the ‘crown’ pieces, instead of the original acrylic )
  • It is flat packed in pieces for the consumer to put together. This minimizes the amount of space used for transport.
  • It is very lightweight, also saving energy in transport.
  • It is manufactured in Los Angeles, so it supports local economy and eliminates overseas shipping in the manufacturing process.
  • A percentage of profits will be donated to The Ocean Conservancy

“So, I hope this help’s clarify my choices for these lamps!”

It sure does, and what a great product it has become, thank you for answering my questions and for giving us some insight in this project!