These Bacteria Lamps are Truly Conversational Pieces

Jan Klingler’s lamps aren’t just plain sources of light. Rather, they’re unique, if eerie, sculptures that look as though they belong in a laboratory. But if his designs stand out, the work that goes on behind the scenes is altogether incredible. As it turns out, the lamps themselves are made of bacteria swabbed from people, places, or items.

Each piece is custom made, with samples taken from people, places or things that hold a position of importance to the client. These samples of bacteria are grown into a unique piece in the form of commissioned work. “When producing a piece for commissioned work, the customer is very much involved in this process,” explained Klingler in an interview with Sixtysix Magazine, “getting to choose between the colors that grow or having a pure mix of all of them.”

According to the industrial designer, the finished custom products turn through this scientific-like process into vessels that contain past memories. “The possibilities are as individual as each one of us,” he writes on his website. These possibilities include swabbing the location of a first date, a personal souvenir from a memorable journey, or the remainder of loved one far away.

“We all consist of 10 times more bacteria than human cells,” Klingler states. “Every living being and place has its own unique and personal microbiological fingerprint. In a crossover between science, art, and industrial design, the bacteria lamp uses this fact to create stand out conversational pieces.”