Designers on your doorstep

Marta Figueiredo

Stardust Lamp responds to a challenge: how to produce a functional and appealing home product from the waste generated by my practice? I had amassed resin powder from cutting perspex and found that reincorporating this waste into the same material was the most sustainable way to reuse it. This will allow for future pyrolysis recycling of the entire object, therefore contributing to a circular design.

Aesthetically, I wanted to experiment with light by combining the transparency of resin with the glittering particles of waste, and so the Stardust lamp was born. The lamp's shape is a simple interplay of geometrical forms. A constellation of interstellar particles drifts atop a glowing gem, elevated above a burgundy pillar. A delicate and celestial brightness is diffused through thin particles of resin debris, adding life and depth to the new resin that encapsulates it. The resin waste was mixed in during the pouring stages, resulting in deposit lines featuring on the lamp's surface. At the core of this luminary runs a red spine, forming a string of functional elements: aluminium tube, a ring, and a fabric cord. The Stardust Lamp is an environmentally friendly design for the home that creates a warm and evocative atmosphere.

IMAGE > Marta Figueiredo, <em>Stardust Lamp</em>, 2021, resin waste powder, eco-resin, aluminium tube, LED strip and fabric cord, 36 x 16 x 16 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Not only have I been spending more time at home, but the fact that I must produce my pieces from home has made me consider how much domestic waste we generate. My household is small, there are only two of us, and despite our best efforts, it's incredible how much packaging and other waste is discarded on a daily basis. I truly believe that with clever design, we can transform this waste and incorporate it into our homes.

The fact that I couldn't contact suppliers or physically supervise production forced me to reconsider how I create my designs and how I can produce them from my small one-bedroom apartment. To make something, I need a lot of organisation and rearranging of my living space. It doubles my workload! With all of the cleaning and resetting of the space. Stardust was one of the first designs created in lockdown and the most complex and challenging process that I brought home. Because resin casting is toxic, I had to begin dividing my work between our small balcony and living room.

A delicate and celestial brightness is diffused through thin particles of resin debris

There is a special place in my neighbourhood that I discovered in 2010 while visiting Melbourne from London and was one of the reasons for my 2013 move to North Melbourne. Auction Rooms is a cafe in Errol street. The space is cleverly designed by Six Degrees Architects. The designers kept the Auction Rooms' original blue painted facade and added these massive pivoting windows that open the interior to the footpath in the spring and summer. I particularly like the rawness of the reclaimed materials and their clever application in the interiors, such as the old letter boxes wrapped around the service bar or the use of regular plastic water pipes as luminaries diffusing light. There's also the Six Degrees trademark with the elegant stained glass that wraps around the kitchen booth.

My living room is the most transformative and performative space in my house. As I previously stated, it alternates between being beautifully arranged and being a chaotic workshop situation. This living room/workshop is 40sqm in size, which is unusual for a one-bedroom apartment in Melbourne. I absolutely love the size and the North-facing aspect. This means that it is filled with light all year and perfect for sunbathing and creating.

The Coral Moon is a beautiful textile sculpture created in memory of the tragic bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral. The sculpture is a textile, stone and brass composition created in collaboration with Vanessa Barragão, a Portuguese textile artist. Vanessa is well-known for her intricate tapestry work, which mimics the organic shapes and textures of underwater flora and fauna. The Coral Moon was broken in two shifting half moon forms which allude to the tides and the delicate balance of the coral reef ecosystem. Coral-Moon is a heartfelt poem that reminds us of this fading beauty.

This is my favourite Ottolenghi recipe, which we prepare frequently at home. It’s perfect all year round!


  • 1 medium butternut squash, unpeeled, halved lengthways, then cut widthways into 2½ cm wide slices 
  • olive oil 
  • 6 large plum tomatoes, halved lengthways
  • 3cm piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 30g dark muscovado sugar
  • coarse sea salt and pepper to taste

Lime yoghurt:

  • 120g Greek yoghurt
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom 
  • Finely grated zest of ½ lime, plus 1½ tsp lime juice To serve
  • 5g coriander leaves roughly chopped
  • 30g cashew nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 10g crispy shop-bought shallots (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/gas mark 9.

2. Mix the squash with 2 tablespoons of the oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on a large parchment-lined baking tray and roast for 35–40 minutes, until golden-brown. Set aside to cool.

3. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3.

4. Place the tomato halves on a parchment-lined baking tray, skin-side down. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, drizzle with the last tablespoon of oil and cook for 80 minutes, until softened.

5. Place the ginger, chilli, garlic, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Mix to form a paste, then spoon this on top of the tomatoes. Cook for another 40 minutes, until caramelized, and set aside to cool.

6. Place all the ingredients for the lime yoghurt in a small bowl, with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

7. Spread the squash out on a large platter and arrange the tomatoes in between. Drizzle over the lime yoghurt, sprinkle with the coriander, cashews and shallots, if using, and serve.

Enjoy it!! :-)

IMAGES [Top to bottom] > All images courtesy of the artist. Recipe image source: unsplash.
Auction Rooms image by

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Designers on your doorstep

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