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355 Primo Maggio lampshade

Date: May 2020
Designed by: Alberto Ghirardello
Credit: / @alberto_ghirardello

Primo Maggio is a low-cost, DIY lampshade designed in May 2020 during lockdown. The lamp consists of a small element in 3D-printed PLA that acts as a support for a series of skewer sticks which become the form of the lampshade. When used as a pendant lamp, gravity will keep the lampshade in place. For use as a table lamp, one would just need to tighten a cable tie near the cable exit from the shell to firmly secure the two parts together.

The project has been developed by the Italian designer Alberto Ghirardello during the quarantine in the month of May 2020. It is a response to issues of single-use waste brought to the fore during virus lockdowns. Coronavirus has generated an increase in waste, most of it evident, like face masks and gloves that have begun to appear abandoned on sidewalks. Ghirardello’s project considers waste beyond medical supplies, such as unused food and party materials that would otherwise be dedicated to events that did not happen due to lockdown restrictions. These items have now become waste even before being used. Primo Maggio has been designed to find a second life for unused skewer sticks, changing the meaning of a humble and irrelevant object (a disposable wooden toothpick) into an essential aesthetic component of a lasting and functional lampshade. The lamp has been named Primo Maggio (Italian for May the first), in reference to the countless skewer sticks that were bought for a traditional Italian barbecue that takes place on the first of May. Because of restrictions, this barbecue was unable to take place, and therefore, many of these skewers are resting useless in Italian kitchens.