Today, a lovely and thoughtful new addition to the perpetually growing list of lighting accessories crafted from salvaged junk.

For his fabulous and award-winning FANtasized project, young Belgian product designer Sep Verboom traveled to the bustling Philippine port town of Cebu City where he immediately embarked on a formidable design challenge set forth by city councilor and social environmentalist, Hon. Nida Cabrera: To make a functional and beautiful new product out of common waste materials found in the city's Barangay Luz district.

Soon I could see that waste and its local awareness was a big issue, causing health and flooding problems. 

For 5 months I lived, ate and worked with the local people, giving me the excellent opportunity to experience local problems and to apply my view of design methodologies into a sustainable solution.

Verboom responded to Cabrera's challenge with a series of stunning, handcrafted lampshades that combine vibrantly colored waste strips leftover from the production of woven chairs at a local furniture factory and old metal electric fan guards sourced from local scrap merchants. And with that FANtasized, a project that aims to draw attention to Cebu City’s staggering waste problem while also supporting local crafters and artisans, was born.

The FANtasized lampshades (get it now?) come in two sizes and either in pendant (HANG) or floor (STAND) models. The latter is supported by a trio of handcrafted mahogany wood legs. Each lampshade comes with a colored textile cord and a tag signed by the craftsperson responsible for its creation. Explains Verboom: “FANtasized will not solve all the problems in the world, but it shows that we need to cooperate, inspire and be creative. All together.”

Fantastic stuff indeed. The lampshades are currently available for purchase at the FANtasized website where Verboom felt obliged to share a very useful little tidbit: “Don’t waste money on useless Christmas presents.” Available in a range of eye-popping solid and color block patterns, the medium-sized lampshades sell for 165 euros (a little under $230). The HANG models without the wooden legs costs a bit less. All models are currently 20 percent off for the holidays through the end of this month.

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

Junked fans from the Philippines reborn as colorful lampshades
You can count us as, umm, fans of Sep Verboom's line of lampshades handcrafted from recycled electric fan guards.