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FILTERDESIGN: THE LAMP WHICH IS BOTH AN AIR-PURIFIER AND A DESIGN OBJECT
The filter-lamp is a wholly Italian idea which demonstrates how it is possible to use existing technology in new ways, combining efficient performance with design and respect for the environment. The idea comes from the Campi company, a small Italian firm which since 1992 has led the market in the field of air filters for car interiors. They decided to transfer their expert knowledge with regard to vehicles into the domestic environment. As a result, they created the FilterDesign line of ecological lamps, products made by hand using high quality materials such as aluminium and steel. The filter-lamps are 99.9% recyclable and consume a minimum amount of energy, the equivalent of that consumed by the indicator light on a household item (between 4 and 12 watts).
The idea of the filter-lamp is essentially simple, but effective: an extremely quiet fan connected to the inside of the lamp draws in the air through a large filter which collects the dirty particles harmful to the respiratory and cardio-vascular systems. The filter serves to block not only damaging fine dust particles (types PM10, PM5 and PM2.5), but also pollens, ordinary dust motes and all the other agents which can provoke allergic reactions at certain times of the year. But there is more to it than this: the filter-lamp does not just offer protection from external atmospheric pollutants, but also combats noxious domestic agents originating from furnishings, computer apparatus, cooking fumes or cigarette smoke. “There is now an increasing demand for clean air even in our own homes,” said Andrea Campi, creator of the FilterDesign project. “You cannot simply close the door to your house or office to exclude polluting agents.”
The filter-lamps are stylishly designed, with attractive, elegant shapes and delightful colours to harmonize with any type of environment. They come with 15 different lighting programs (seven with fixed tones and eight with alternate colour variations) allowing one to create different combinations of light and constantly vary the internal lighting. The filter-lamp first emerged as a prototype in 2005. “The first series, consisting of just a few units, was produced as a Christmas gift for our most important clients”, recalled Campi, the managing director of the Campi company. The idea of trying to transform an air purification system into a design object came about as a result of suggestions. “As a result,” Campi explained, “there was a spontaneous demand which persuaded us to initiate research, making an overall investment of more than 100 thousand Euros in the year 2005.” This was a considerable undertaking for a small to medium-sized company that invests an average of 120 to 130 thousand Euros a year in R&D and with an annual turnover of about two million Euros. When the planning phase was completed, the eco-lamps were initially sold in specialist shops. At the end of this period the firm began selling on-line, using a “light” distribution model.
The Campi company remains focused on its business of air filters for car interiors, providing parts for the principal makes of European cars. However, the firm’s philosophy is not just to carry out an impromptu diversification in its production, but to undertake a radical change in its positioning in the market. As Andrea Campi explained: “This product line, even with the introduction of four new models, constitutes a small part of the group’s turnover. In the future however it could become our core business.” That is to say, anticipating the negative impact of the crisis in the motor industry on parts suppliers (the Campi company supplies parts for the major European makes of car), the company is taking steps to mitigate the effects of a possible fall in demand. There is also a hypothetical plan to launch a “professional” line of their lamps specifically for office environments, characterized by simpler design and possibly powered by solar cells.