By Andrew Liszewski
A thermotropic response is what causes a plant to grow towards or away from a soure of heat, and when the same idea is applied to a lamp you get the Protea. When the lamp is left on allowing the bulb to slowly heat up the metal petals that make up the lampshade gradually move away from the hot bulb giving the impression of a flower opening in the sunshine… though upside-down.
While designer Karl Zahn originally envisioned this project as a visual reminder as to how much wasted energy an incandescent bulb gives off in the form of heat, I think most people won’t care and will probably go out of their way to leave their lights on longer than normal just to see this lamp open up.
Of course like everything even remotely affiliated with ‘design’ the Protea lamp isn’t cheap and will set you back about $150 from Boiler Design Office.