The almost unconscious act of switching on the light takes an interesting turn in lamps by two graduates of Design Academy Eindhoven. They exemplify an industry-wide shift from inanimate products to responsive companions.

In a series of three illuminated objects called Minerae, Swiss designer Thomas Missé pairs the raw with the refined. Captured in a luminous glow, rough-hewn pieces of iron ore sit mysteriously on square or rectangular aluminium plinths belonging to large and small table lamps and to a freestanding floor model, all with translucent plastic reflectors. When you lift one of these ‘stones’ from its base, the light goes out, whereas a slow twist makes it work like a gradual dimmer.

Photo Femke Rijerman

Featured in DAE’s graduate show at Dutch Design Week, Sandra Lundberg’s Yaris is a desk lamp that doubles as a pet who reacts when his back or chin is stroked. A 3D-printed spine clad in soft ‘skin’ responds to tickles and scratches, changing the direction of the beam with every touch.

Photo Lisa Klappe