All images © Dorian Etienne and Cordélia Faure

Nuclée has been designed using banana flesh, a waste material from the traditional extraction, that has amazing qualities like translucency. Nuclée project by Dorian Etienne and Cordélia Faure, was conceived during a six-month residency at the National Taiwan Craft Research Institute.

Banana fiber is used in certain places and communities, from a long time, due to its exceptional qualities. The Kavalan aboriginal tribe, in Hualien, on the east cost of Taiwan, are experts in the use of Banana fiber. They use this material to make their traditional clothing, containers and bags. In any banana plantation, the banana trees are cut after having given their diet to let the rejects grow, which are more prolific; there is a lot of waste to be revalued. 

After getting inspired by the Kavalan tribe’s techniques and lifestyle,  Dorian and Cordélia learned the ancestral methods of working with this plant, the process of extraction using only the outer part of the stem and other techniques that helped develop Nuclée.  Their experiments included checking the reaction to heat, cold, humidity, pressure, combination with materials and other factors. It was possible to stabilize the plant tissue after applying different pressure and heat parameters. This new material is highlighted by shapes of bent bamboo, inspired by the internal structure of the banana tree stem.

Banana fiber, bamboo, and black granite are the main materials used for Nuclée. The selection of these materials were done after intensive research on local materials, that were often neglected, to put them to better use. The lamp reflects the designers’ creative approach of adding meaning to design by integrating the history and culture of a country into a product. 

Nuclée lamps will be available for sale soon, on Dorian’s website, and through galleries. Find out more about the designers’ project with reycled pipe bricks.