Ukrainian design studio YOD Group has taken ammunition shells used by anti-aircraft tanks to defend Kyiv from drones and turned them into Downed Drone, a series of limited-edition lamps.
The Downed Drone collection contains 40 individual lamps made from shells used by Ukrainian air defense forces to defend the country’s capital on 4 May and 16 May 2023.
“When our friends from the Kyiv air raid defense showed us empty shells, which they used to protect the city from drones, our designers came up with an upcycling idea,” Volodymyr Nepyivoda, architect and co-founder of YOD Group, told Dezeen.
“A shell looks brutal, but it is a powerful symbol of saved lives, and a part of our history,” he continued. “The lamp was one of the first ideas, and the designers liked it because it symbolises the light that always wins against darkness.”
The body of the lamps was made from camouflage-print black-and-green-striped shell casings, shot from anti-aircraft tanks. Each bears individual scratches and dents as a result of their previous use in active warfare.
YOD Group capped the cylinders with a circular brass top that contains a rechargeable lightbulb, which can be illuminated for around four hours between charges.
A unique serial number is displayed on a brass nameplate towards the base of each light, labelling the specific shell with a number between one and 40.
“The main value of the lamp is in the story of their creations, but at the same time, the designers wanted to create an object that looks good in different interiors, even if you do not know the provenance,” Nepyivoda explained.
The wooden boxes that contain each lamp during shipping can be reused after delivery as bird boxes. “The shells killed drones – artificial birds that aimed to bring death,” said Nepyivoda. “YOD created boxes for real birds that can help bring new life to their nestlings.”
The lamps can be purchased for $1,100, with 100 per cent of the proceeds raised are donated to help fund Ukraine’s military campaigns. YOD Group invested $4,000 into the project as their contribution to aiding those fighting on the front line.
“Victory requires the participation of many people,” said YOD Group. “Those who aim and shoot, and those who create and organise fundraisers to send drones, equipment and vehicles to the front line.”
“There were really difficult and loud nights in Kyiv,” said Nepyivoda. “We will not forget those nights for a long time.”
Other projects that relate to the war in Ukraine include a furniture collection that pays homage to the Ukraine’s cultural heritage by designer Victoria Yakusha and Poland’s installation at the 2023 London Design Biennale that displays reclaimed windows for rebuilding Ukrainian homes that have been damaged in the war. The photography is by Andriy Bezuglov.