Make your very own lamp out of vintage mechano

I found an old box of my husband’s Meccano pieces in the attic and thought the industrial vibe would transform into a great lamp. You can find bits of Meccano in second hand shops and on line or buy new from places such as Argos RRP from £9.99


You will need

Turquoise flex and a bulb  Iconic lights

5 x flat mechano pieces with right angled sides 14cmx 6.5cm with sides 0.5cm

2 x 13.5cm x 6.5cm flat mechano pieces without right angled sides

Wheel with diameter of 7.5cm

2 Cross brace pieces with zig zags 31cm x 5cm

14cm x 0.8cm flat metal batton

Box of meccano screws and bolts

Screw driver



1.Using the flat pieces with the right angled sides, screw them together to construct a rectangle with a hole in the centre.

2. Screw one of the flat pieces 13.5cm x 6.5cm at the back of the rectangle shape to the far right, this will help hold it rigid.

3.Screw one narrow side of the other flat piece 13.5cm x 6.5cm, onto the top edge piece at the back of the box shape on the far left so it is sticking upwards.

4. Three holes from the top, screw the top edge onto the last piece with right angled sides.

5 Turn the lamp round and attach one cross brace from the right hand bottom corner hold at, a 45 degree, angle and screw it where the brace meets the top of the box approx 5 screws in.

6 Screw where the brace cross piece meets the other last right angled piece of Meccano.

7. At approx. 45 degrees in the other direction slip the last cross brace between the flat plate and the first cross brace. Screw together. The result should look like a zig zag.

8. To make the whole thing stable screw the flat metal batton to the angled piece at one end and to the cross brace you just fitted at the other.

9.Screw on the wheel to the highest point of the second cross brace.

10. Thread the light fitting through the cross braces.

You may not be able to get exactly the same pieces as we did, in which case build your own design. Just make sure the base is stable and strong enough to hold the flex and bulb.



Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius


A series of newly commissioned installations, exploring our perceptions and connections to colour. Research, art and design combine in works that challenge the modern industrialization of colour.


Drawing on 15 years of research, acclaimed designer Hella Jongerius presents Breathing Colour: an installation-based exhibition that takes a deeper look at how colour behaves.


Jonerius’ research has been inspired by a wide range of sources. These include painters, who recognized and recorded how light affects objects. For example Monet who painted the same haystack over and over to document the different colours and atmospheres at different times of day.

Breathing Colour creates an exhibition that blurs the boundaries between art and design. Combining intriguing shapes with extensive research: the exhibition questions our preconceptions of colour and embraces its imperfections and experimentation.


Hella Jongerius explains:

‘There is a phenomenon  in colorimetry called Metamerism. This was the starting point of my colour research. It occurs when colours are viewed in different conditions, and describes the effect when two colours appear to match even though they might not actually do. I think everyone once bought a piece of furniture or clothingin a certain colour, and experienced a shock when unpacking it back at home. Most companies see the effect as problematic and try to avoid it, and produce colours that attempt to eliminate it. But I want to make a plea for embracing metamerism. As a designer, I want to make a plea for plastics, varnishes and paints to use layered pigments that provide intense colours that are allowed to breathe with changing light.’IMG_1341.jpg

The exhibition is divided into separate spaces that simulate daylight conditions at specific times of day-morning-noon and evening. These three phases explore the impact of changing daylight on our perception of colour. Each installation includes a series of 3D objects as well as textiles. Some of which are hand-woven while others are produced on industrial looms.


Large –scale textiles experiment in creating black tones without the use of black materials. Woven from woolen, linen and cotton threads, these textiles are an extension of Jongerius’ previous research into the colour

Black and her rejection of the standard industrial approach, to adding carbon to colours in order to darken them.IMG_1377.jpg

Where colours were once produced by mixing pigments into infinite permutations, we now select them according to a name on a chart.

Jongerius argues that these processes of industrialization have narrowed our experience of colour and its cultural meanings. Breathing Colour explores how we relate to colour in a more intimate and personal way.

At The Design Museum 224-238 Kensington High Street London W8 6AG

28th June – 24th September 2017