A living, interactive, bioluminescent lamp

Product Design | Bio Design | Sustainable Design

Experiment (Growing Bioluminescence dinoflagellates)

How might we create an extension of nature in our home through design to help people relieve stress?


We live in an age in which there are fewer opportunities to connect with nature. About 80 percent of Americans and half of all people globally live in urban areas (United Nations, 2015). Surveys show that Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors or riding in vehicles. Children, teens, and adults spend many hours a day watching TV, surfing the internet, or gaming. We are less likely to go camping or fishing than we used to, and children spend less time playing outdoors than they used to. Living in large metropolitan areas exposes us to stressors like traffic, crowding, air pollution, rising housing costs, or noise.


“ For this project, I want to explore the intersection of design and biological sciences as a catalyst for sustainable innovation, how to combine biological sciences and new technologies to seek innovative solutions for future sustainable design. So I challenge myself to design a sustainable lamp without using electricity. ”

Biology + Design

Bio Design

Learn from Nature for

Sustainable Innovation

Design a light installation without electricity




Watching hourglass dripping water is relaxing, so I want to apply this effect into my design.


Unlike its more traditional counterparts, my design intent is not meant to accurately tell time. Instead, it makes time arbitrary and reminds the owner to take a breath.

Bioluminescence Dinoflagellates


Bioluminescence is the light produced by a chemical reaction that occurs in an organism. It occurs at all depths in the ocean, but is most commonly observed at the surface. Bioluminescence is the only source of light in the deep ocean where sunlight does not penetrate. 


Dinoflagellates are the most common source of bioluminescence and are also known as Pyrrophyta or fire plants. It is a species of marine algae that have the ability to bioluminescence in response to mechanical agitation (shaking). Many dinoflagellates are photosynthetic and play a key role as producers in the food chains of the ocean. 

Testing experiments

Glass | Metal | CAD | 3D Printing




A living, interactive, bioluminescent lamp

The lamp uses sunlight, water and nutrients, instead of batteries or electricity, to grow and glow.


The dinoflagellates used in the BILU are a species of marine algae that have the ability to bioluminescence in response to mechanical agitation (shaking).

BILU lights bring nature's most beautiful light show into your home. It drips like an hourglass, and the light effect of water droplets can ease your mind and help you drift off to sleep.