“Lighting Is Essential for the Atmosphere of a Space”

Good lighting can make all the difference to your room and how you feel about a space. With the growth in 3D printing we have greater range of the shapes and styles available, making it easier to design our spaces down to the details.

The inspiration for these lampshades comes from examining the details and textures from curved folds of paper. Architect and designer David Münscher was playing around with origami techniques and paper folding to explore different shapes. His exploration led him to develop the ION lampshade.

“I wanted to create a timeless lampshade,” says Münscher, “that would be minimal enough to fit into a variety of interiors and at the same time have enough character to make it iconic.” The experimentation led to the ION lampshade, resembling a paper lantern or lampion that gives the room a soft and intimate glow. Using 3D printing processing means the lampshade is robust, yet looks delicate and lightweight.

How did you decide on using the 3D printing process?

Münscher: From an early stage I had 3D printing as the production method in mind, since it would grant me the most liberty for producing and distributing an item like this. However the actual design and form finding started out with some folds in paper. By creating curved folds the paper starts to round itself along the crease creating very aesthetic shapes, which are at the same time very rigid. This rigidity of the form turned out to be perfect for 3D printing, since it let me create a relatively big volume, while reducing the overall thickness of the shade to a minimum. The resulting 3D print then feels really paper thin and lightweight. This “weightlessness” in combination with the layer structure of the production process creates a bizarrely natural feel for the finished product, although a lot of digital work went into it.

The journey to the production stage includes a lot of sketching and mock ups, as well as making a few 3D computer models to work the space out.

Once all aesthetic and technical issues about the design are solved in this way, a final computer model is created, which can be a pretty painstaking process. It is easy to lose the original, free expression and creativity of an object in this stage. […] That’s why I see this stage as much as an art as the initial process of design.

All process and design work aside, what counts in the end is the object standing for itself and in that regard I believe I succeeded in keeping the original idea intact and unbiased in the finished ION lampshade.

What’s your design studio like? 

It’s all about flexibility; big worktops for sketching and model making, that can be converted from workbench to sound studio or anything else when needed.

The design for the ION draws on Münscher’s experience working as an interior designer.

Lighting is essential for the atmosphere of a space. Since I am also working as an interior designer light always is one of the key design elements that I work with. In those projects often custom light solutions are necessary to be developed and implemented.

What’s your personal style in home design? 

I like to keep everything simple, I am not in favor of having too many things around the house. The few decorative elements in my home are things that inspire me, or past work. If you have to live with it, you really find out what is good or bad about a design.


In which home styles would the ION fit in well?

It depends on what everyone sees fit in the individual home or corporate environment of course, but I imagine it in a warm modern interior, a fresh natural style or maybe in an eclectic home. In its appearance ION lends itself to be paired with a variety of different objects and colors, and I am curious as well to see how it will be used by others.

What are your thoughts on the ION lampshade? How do you see 3D printing incorporated into the design of your home? As always, let us know in the comments below.

Would you buy a light that makes you look more beautiful? Also, check out this interview Bout design processes with lighting designer Gimmy Chu who developed the Nanoleaf range of  energy efficient LED light bulbs.

Project: ION Lampshade

Design: David Münscher

Photos: Oxique