Thanks to Gantri’s sustainable production methods and its ‘open source’ design process, the Californian company is successfully illuminating the path to a sustainable lighting future.
The ‘S’ word
Sustainability has long since been the elephant in the room within the lighting industry. The accepted business model of outsourcing production to China worked so long as we chose to ignore the ecological and environmental cost of doing so. In light of ever increasing levels of pollution and horrific ecological catastrophies, it should be clear by now to any forward thinking company that such a business model is not sustainable.
Despite luminaire manufacturers proudly bragging about the advantages of LED technology, it’s no secret that the process of producing most forms of luminaire housing is an incredibly dirty one: a process which relies on a combination of fossil fuels, oils, toxic plastics and generally non-biogradeable materials and non sustainable methods of production.
Although a lot of manufacturers have half-heartedly started promising to look into sustainable ways of producing, Gantri has actually figured it out – and in excellent style, may we add.
The key is in the material used to create its luminaires, which are 3D printed using Gantri’s in-house printers. The material, PLA, behaves similarly to other high quality plastics typically found in 3D printing. However, thanks to the fact that it is derived from plant sources such as corn and sugarcane, the material is biodegradable and non toxic, and as such offers an excellent alternative to petroleum-based plastics.
Gantri spent years creating custom compounded PLA blends to ensure optimal material quality and haptics. Both solid and translucent finishes are possible for frosted glass-like effects when lit. Its opaque blend – finished with a premium water-based paint, is 50% more temperature resistant than traditional PLAs and safe to use even near electronics.
In addition to Gantri’s efforts regarding sustainability in production, they’ve also been busy disrupting the design process itself. Anyone can design for Gantri. Designers apply to join Gantri’s Create platform and submit their concepts. If accepted, they turn their concept into a 3D model using Gantri’s design guide and pre-modeled components. Once the design is finalised, Gantri’s dedicated engineers produce the lamps at their 3D printing factory in San Leandro, California.
Gantri handles all the assembly, photoshoots, shipping, and customer service, while the original designer receives a royalty on sales.
It’s interesting to see how different each one turns out, given that all designers are given the same basic materials and parameters to create their lamps. The current crop of designs as seen on Gantri’s website are both fascinating and utterly contemporary. Gantri’s lamps, which are all under $200, are also very competitively priced.
Another interesting touch are the product renderings on Gantri’s website. If you remember warmwhite’s article, rendered realities, we talked about the increasing prevalence of manufacturers utilising renderings to replace photographed product shots. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gantri have also incorporated such techniques to display products on their website, a method which not only allows ideal product positioning and lighting conditions, but also allows the accurate depiction of products in numerous environments.
We hope that Gantri’s approach, especially regarding sustainability, gives established manufacturers the incentive they need to start developing future proof products. In short, there needs to be a place for a disruptive start up such as Gantri to shake things up in the architectural lighting and decorative lighting industries. We hope to see more from Gantri in the future. W
Gantri at a glance:
Gantri offers more than 40 exclusive table, foor and wall lights for the home and beyond. Our lights are: • Design-forward, uniquely inspired and engineered for modern living. • Created by award-winning global designers, including Ammunition, Dims., Muka Design Lab and Chris Granneberg. • Made from innovative plant-based materials. • Equipped with museum-quality, fully-dimmable LEDs. • Attainably priced from $98. • Available for purchase on gantri.com.
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