Kieron Marchese

Snøhetta’s compostable hemp lamp “Superdupertube” banishes boring tube lighting

Norwegian studio Snøhetta has teamed up with lighting brand Ateljé Lyktan to create Superdupertube, an office lamp made from extruded hemp and sugarcane bioplastic.

In an era defined by pressing environmental concerns, the quest for sustainable solutions has never been more urgent. Yet, amidst this urgency, innovation often arises not from groundbreaking novelty, but from the reimagining and refinement of existing concepts. Collaboration becomes paramount in this endeavour, pooling expertise and resources to craft products that respond adeptly to contemporary challenges. 

Norwegian studio Snøhetta’s recent collaboration with lighting brand Ateljé Lyktan exemplifies this ethos. Together, they have created the Superdupertube, an office lamp that redefines sustainability in lighting design. This partnership is not a new venture. Their collaborative journey began with The 7th Room, a remarkable charred-timber cabin suspended among the treetops in northern Sweden, where they first melded their creative forces to illuminate spaces. 

It’s within this context of shared experience that Superdupertube emerges, a contemporary reincarnation of Ateljé Lyktan’s Supertube – an office light from the 1970s crafted from extruded aluminium.

Reviving a design classic

Despite its pragmatic simplicity, the Supertube faded into obscurity over a decade ago. However, its enduring design principles piqued Snøhetta’s curiosity, igniting a mission to modernise it for today’s ecological imperatives.

The journey to revitalise the Supertube led Snøhetta and Ateljé Lyktan down a path of material exploration. Rooted in the extrusion technique developed in the 1960s, the collaborators sought to nod to the original design while significantly reducing its carbon footprint. 

After experimenting with various materials, they settled on hemp bioplastic, derived from a blend of hemp sourced from the Netherlands and polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastic extracted from sugarcane. This fossil- and gas-free composite, enriched with wood cellulose and minerals, forms the lamp’s core, embodying a sustainable alternative to its aluminium predecessor. 

Hemp-powered lighting for a greener future

The Superdupertube’s construction reflects a meticulous fusion of craftsmanship and eco-consciousness. Its main body, moulded through extrusion, is complemented by injection-moulded louvres and side covers, evoking an organic aesthetic. 

Even its electric cables, sheathed in linen fabric, evoke a tactile connection to nature. Moreover, the lamp’s end-of-life pathway underscores its commitment to sustainability; it can be industrially composted or recycled into pellets for future lamp production, minimising waste and maximising resource efficiency.

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Superdupertube lamp by Snøhetta and Ateljé Lyktan

Beyond its eco-credentials, the Superdupertube is a feat of functional elegance. Featuring dimmable LED strips ensconced within twisted louvres, it offers both visual allure and practical illumination. This architectural detail not only softens the light but also enhances workspace comfort, making it a compelling choice for modern office environments. Available in four different lengths, each lamp boasts an organic beige hue infused with natural patterns from the hemp composite, adding a touch of individuality to every piece.

Redefining office lighting with Superdupertube

Recognizing that 70-80% of a luminaire’s climate impact occurs during the user phase, Snøhetta and ateljé Lyktan emphasised efficiency and incorporated smart lighting systems to reduce energy consumption and expand its lifetime.

The design and the well-engineered extruded profile have optimised easy assembly and disassembly by enabling components to slide in place without glues and minimal use of screws. This also makes it possible to easily replace parts, repair malfunctions, and update lighting technologies in the future.

At the heart of Superdupertube lies a testament to Snøhetta’s dedication to regenerative design and material innovation. This collaborative odyssey, initiated by architects, landscape architects, interior architects, and craftsmen, epitomises a holistic approach to sustainable product development. Hemp’s robust fibres and minimal environmental impact position it as an ideal material choice, reducing CO2 emissions by over 50% compared to conventional aluminium variants.

Moreover, the lamp’s colour temperature, influenced by the inherent variations in hemp crops, imbues each Superdupertube with a unique character. Emitting a warm glow through the PLA material, it invites a sense of organic warmth into the workspace. Assembled with precision and foresight, the lamp’s extruded profile ensures easy maintenance and future adaptability, underscoring its longevity and versatility.

Superdupertube not only reduces dependence on fossil raw materials but is also industrially compostable. This project pushes the norms around what an office lamp could look like and be made of and is meant to contribute to and encourage further advancement within sustainable and innovative materials and production technologies.

In conclusion, Superdupertube transcends the conventional boundaries of office lighting, offering a beacon of sustainability and innovation in an industry ripe for transformation. By prioritising collaboration, conscious material choices, and enduring design principles, Snøhetta and Ateljé Lyktan have crafted more than just a lamp; they’ve illuminated a path towards a greener, more enlightened future.

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At the end of the vast flat lands of southern Sweden, at the edge of the Baltic Sea, lies the small town of Åhus. This is the setting for Ateljé Lyktan

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