We are challenging you to design a lampshade using plastic from milk bottles or plastic juice containers! 

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

  • Crafting form
    • How can you arrange all the practical components of a lamp to not only to work but to also to look beautiful?
  • Crafting 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.

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.

Extra Challenge

To get the Extra Challenge Prize design an Interactive Switch!

Designing lights is a great way to develop interaction design skills. How do your users turn the light on and off? Can you make the interaction of turning it on and off be surprising, quirky, or seamless with other activities?


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 12th July 2021.
  • 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 additional materials or technology you can use. This is entirely up to your creative intent, and what resources you have access to. 


Future Designer Champion

$400 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. You will also receive a deluxe School of Design Innovation care package.

Future Designer Runner-up

$250 Prize for the submission chosen by high school teachers

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

Extra Challenge Winner

$200 Prize for best design addressing the Extra Challenge

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.

Terms and Conditions

Read the full terms and conditions.