Courtney Naismith 2 Lustrous Lights

  • Tauira / Student
    Courtney Naismith
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Simon Fraser, Jeongbin Ok
  • School
    Victoria University of Wellington, School of Design
Judge's comments:

The lustrous quality of this 3D printed upcycled plastic lamp shade series drew the attention of the judges and its sustainability credentials confirmed its design quality.


Lustrous Lights is a 3D printed upcycled installation made from inflight waste that represents NZ identity and demonstrates localised manufacturing. The Lustrous Lights series is an output of a research portfolio submitted to Victoria University of Wellington in fulfilment of a Masters Degree in Design Innovation. The research portfolio, ‘Air-crafted Artefacts’ focused on how inflight plastics could be repurposed to enhance product value through 3D printed upcycling systems within the New Zealand Aviation Tourism Industry.

The complex plastic problem does not have a one size fits all solution; however, additive technologies and design can aid in the transition towards a circular economy and apply designed outputs to niche applications. The introduction of a 3D printed upcycling system can reutilise unwanted waste plastics, gain control of the material life-cycle and repurpose them into higher-quality products.

A materials-led investigation with Air New Zealand’s old polystyrene coffee stirrers resulted in a range of 3D printed artefacts with novel visual, tactile and structural qualities. The upcycled filament has a spectacular crystal quality which was utilised through designing a surface texture that resembles traditional Māori taniko patterns. The printed light shades were combined with aluminium fastenings and chrome fixtures to compliment, yet remain a focus on the elegant light shade patterns.

Lustrous Lights are designed for the Air New Zealand International Koru Lounges within Airports to showcase the airline's sustainable efforts and engage a wide audience with the possibilities of 3D printed upcycling. The geometric freedom of 3D printing allows each cylinder dimensions and pattern arrangement to be modified, designing a unique piece for every Koru Lounge space.