The Ambio lamp was designed by Teresa van Dongen, who is a designer from Amsterdam that also studied biology. It is a lamp that is filled with a glowing bacteria species known as Photobacterium that was collected from octopi and when this bacteria interacts with oxygen it lights up and creates a beautiful blue tone. That is why the tube is only half-filled so as to facilitate this contact.

“Ocean waves glowing blue in the dark of night, anyone who has ever experienced this knows how magical it looks. The phenomenon is caused by bioluminescent micro-organisms in seawater that emit light when provided with oxygen every time a wave turnes. This principle inspired me to combine my passion for design and biology in a bioluminescent light installation. Ambio balances two weights and a glass tube half-filled with a „Artificial Seawater Medium“ containing a carefully selected type of these unique luminescent species. Give the lamp a gentle push every so often and the weights will keep it moving and thus glowing. Ambio is a visualization of a research on how to use nature as a source of energy.“

-Teresa van Dongen

Right now this lamp isn‘t practical because the bacteria eventually dies. Work is ongoing to find out how to prolong the lifespan of the bacteria so the lamp could be used on an every day basis.

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