It’s tough to find anything virtuous about the lowly Styrofoam cup apart from the fact that it won’t burn your fingers when filled with piping-hot drinks. Not only is it an environmental scourge; it has the distinct ability to make perfectly good coffee taste like swill. But Paul Cocksedge has managed to redeem the “disposable” cup that never actually goes away, by upcycling it into a multifaceted chandelier that looks more at home in a chi-chi restaurant than a PTA meeting.
Cocksedge originally conceived Styrene in 2002 as his graduation project at the Royal College of Art and recently decided to re-issue the piece in celebration of his first decade as a professional designer. The spherical shade is an array of hundreds of heat-shrunk cups, broken up by small gaps in between that allow light to dapple on surrounding surfaces.
The 20-inch-diameter Styrene comes with a 20W fluorescent bulb and may be purchased for approximately $800 from Cocksedge’s freshly launched online shop (larger sizes are available upon request). That may seem spendy for a fixture, but you also never have to worry about it degrading.