Innovative, energy-efficient lighting design is undoubtedly a major draw of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and the show’s 2011 edition was no exception. From the a sexy, sculptural designer CFL from the U.K. that seduced me out of $25 to a slick, Swedish LED task lamp made from biodegradable paper pulp, there were plenty of bright ideas to be found on the floor of Manhattan’s west side convention monstrosity Javits Center over ICFF’s action-packed four-day run.

But amidst all the fabulous flash and high-tech-ery, it was one of the more straightforward lighting fixture designs that resonated with me the most (and other ICFF attendees, I suspect). It was a simple green-colored, globe suspension lamp made from glass.

But there's more — a lot more. The glass used to make iQ EnvironmentsOdyssey Suspension Lamp comes from recycled beer bottles (thus the distinctive, “healing” green hue) and on closer inspection the lamp takes on the familiar shape of a standard fire hydrant lid. So, it’s an attractive-looking lamp in the shape of a fire hydrant lid that's made from recycled beer bottles. And ...? 

Well, this is a recycled glass fire hydrant lid-shaped lamp with a sobering back story: the actual fire hydrant lid that the lamp is modeled after was found on a Wall Street sidewalk by designer Ismael Quintero during the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Quintero has tooled around with the lamp’s design (initially, the lamp was made in ceramic porcelain) since 9/11 and most recently decided that recycled green glass was the most appropriate material to use because “the soothing green glow elicits a calming effect.” Each lamp reads in Latin: “Nostri Lumen Est Una” which translates to “Our Light is One.”  

Says Quintero: “This is a very unifying piece. I want people to feel like they’re part of the healing process.”

From the sale of each Odyssey Suspension Lamp, Quintero plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to the 9/11 Museum. The whole mission of iQ Environments revolves around the idea of meaningful, non-mass-produced product design and I think it's safe to say that with this premiere product, a simple recycled glass light fixture, Quintero has hit a heartfelt home run. 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

ICFF 2011: Odyssey Suspension Lamps by iQ Environments
Adding a dash of poignancy to the pomp and pageantry surrounding this year's International Contemporary Furniture Fair was a meaningfully designed recycled beer