We are challenging you to design a lamp using the plastic from milk bottles or juice containers! And there are $1000 of prizes up for grabs!

Designing lamps has been foundational for designers since the invention of electricity and lets you exercise and showcase key design skills:

  • You get to learn to craft light quality, which is a great way to elicit different emotions, Think of the lighting in a romantic setting, compared to the lighting at school, or in the kitchen.
  • Lighting also lets you explore your skills in crafting form. How can you arrange all the practical components of a lamp to not only to work but to also to look beautiful?
  • And importantly lighting lets you design exciting interactions. How do your users turn the light on and off, can this be surprising, quirky, or seamless with other activities.

Milk bottle plastic is a thermoform plastic, which means it can be heated and re-shaped. You can take strips from your milk bottle and warm them up to make different forms. You can explore what effects the plastic will have on the light quality of a lightbulb.

Here are some examples we made, and the video below shows you how to manipulate the plastic in more detail.

The next video talks about switches and how you can make them a key component of your light.


If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration head over to:

https://ecc.co.nz/design/designers They have profiles of some of their designers that you may find interesting

Or check out this video where they show you how to melt and manipulate milkbottle plastic. They make solid forms. However, you might want to experiment with shaping the thin sheets of the more translucent plastic, which will still let the light shine through.


Note the following requirements:

  • You must submit your work by 1 November 2020.
  • Videos must be less than 30 seconds
  • Submit using #FutureDesignersNZ. Post your videos or photos to Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter. Make sure your post is public so we can see it.

There are no rules of what materials or technology you can use. This is entirely up to your creative intent, and what resources you have access to. 


Future designer champion

$500 Prize for the best submission

You will also be featured in and invited to our end of year exhibition. We will publish your name and work on the Future Designer’s website and Victoria University of Wellington’s YouTube channel. You will also receive a deluxe School of Design Innovation care package.

Number 8 wire

$250 Prize for the most innovative use of limited resources

Your entry will also be a part of our end of year exhibition, you will receive a School of Design Innovation care package, and an invitation to our end of year exhibition

Teachers’ choice

$250 Prize for the submission chosen by high school teachers

Your name and work will also feature on the Future Designer’s website

Best in year level

You will receive an item of swag from the School of Design Innovation, and we will tag your work with a ‘top in year level’ badge.

Judging Panel

Professor Simon Fraser

Simon has over 35 years’ experience in practice based design research in industry and academia, through a variety of roles such as Assistant Design Director at the Porsche Design Studio, Founding Programme Director of Industrial Design, Head of School and Associate Dean of Research & Innovation at the VUW School of Design Innovation and affiliations with the NZ Product Accelerator, MedTech CoRE and the National Science Challenge SfTI.


Glessel Galicia

Growing up in the Philippines, Glessel was surrounded by climate change issues regarding plastic and recycling. Stepping into university, she has made sure she would always put sustainability first in her design work as well as gain knowledge she can then share to those in developing countries. 
In his spare time, Glessel enjoys painting and cooking

Chris Bisman

Chris Bisman

Formway. Project director.

Chris joined Formway in 2005 after graduating in Industrial Design at Victoria University. He was quickly introduced to the depth and breadth of Formway’s exploration through the cognitive, societal and workplace research as a designer on Hum, a modular desking system for North American furniture company, Kimball.  

Chris’s initial exposure to workplace seating came through ReGeneration for Knoll and has gone on to lead the design on multiple, award winning projects for them.

Chris has always had a passion for design and architecture and after the development of the Remix family for Knoll, he spent a year travelling to visit the architecture he has admired for years.  Upon his return Chris has led the design of several residential and workplace seating projects which will be in the market soon.     

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