Yair Neuman: From Lenses to Lighting

Zealous Stories: Design winner, Yair Neuman, is a London-based designer and entrepreneur, exploring sustainable design opportunities. Neuman’s Lens Light collection is a positive action to repurpose waste lenses from the eyewear sector into striking, sculptural lights.

Yair Neuman, Tripple Halo, Brass, DELEREX™

Congratulations on winning Zealous Stories Design! Your series, Lens lights, are made from hidden waste from the eyewear industry – what encouraged you to experiment with this material?

I was not aware of the problem of lens waste until I started designing eyewear. When I first witnessed the wastage it seemed like a good opportunity to me – one man’s waste is another man’s treasure of course.

Is your wider practice as a designer focused on a repurposing mission? What message are you hoping to convey with the use of waste materials? 

My mission includes leaving the smallest environmental footprint whilst creating my work. I am hoping to promote the idea that there is no such thing as waste. We live in a closed ecosystem where everything is circular, waste is just a mistake we need to fix.

Yair Neuman, LED Flower, Atmospherical LED torch with a brass ball

In the past couple of years, you have worked hard to produce a material that you call DELEREX™ – what are its properties?

DELEREX™ is the outcome of a long development cycle that I have recently completed creating a robust and durable sheet material.

My focus was on crafting a new expressive material to give my design another dimension of depth. Unlike when using off the shelf raw material, recycled or not, my process now involves making the material for a design piece and then producing the piece itself. It’s a very holistic approach to design I find.

Yair Neuman, Lonely Halo, Brass, DELEREX™

Where has your interest in lighting design stemmed from? Do you create other object series as well? 

Lighting has always been an interesting space for me. Light itself is a part of a lamp design and as a theme it has a lot to do with eyewear from which the lenses originate. Together with lighting design, this Spring, I am bringing another love of mine into the DELEREX™ range – a new eyewear frame collection called FUSED, fully made of the material in collaboration with Cubitts London.

Your striking sculptural lights have such an organic feel to them. What inspired these forms?

The action of taking leftovers from an industrial machine process and reprocessing them in a manual way was my starting point. From there, I let the material lead and find its shape whilst helping it to form. Quickly I started seeing organic shapes appearing and it was clear to me that in contrast to the origin of the lenses, this organic feel should be the theme for the collection.

Yair Neuman, Light Vase, DELEREX™

What does the term ‘design’ mean to you and your philosophy? 

Design is something we all do all the time, so I think we are all designers. When I see the title ‘designer’ next to my name, I just feel like I belong.

What one piece of advice would you give to up-and-coming designers at the early stages of their career? 

Drink plenty of water, stretch regularly and enjoy. It’s a long haul flight!

What are your future plans, how do you see your work evolving?

Get vaccinated and find a way to get into Tate Modern. There is also more work in the pipeline with a range of small DELEREX™ furniture pieces coming out after the FUSED eyewear collection, please stay tuned.

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Ellie Isaacs

Community Manager