Lava Lamp Reboot Proves Enduring Appeal of Retro Interiors

Published 22 August 2023

2 min read

The frivolous spirit of 60s and 70s interiors continues to hold favour with today’s serotonin-seeking consumers, leading many brands to dig into their archives and reboot beloved vintage designs. We explore how British brand Mathmos, the original developer of the lava lamp, is leveraging its cult status with new collaborations.

First launched by British inventor Edward Craven-Walker in 1963, the lava lamp is a rocket-shaped tabletop design filled with a mix of water and wax-based liquids that interact when heated. This colourful and trippy look made the lamp an icon of the countercultural psychedelic movement of the mid 20th century.

Now, to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Craven-Walker’s founding company Mathmos is enlisting leading design talent to produce their take on the original Astro lava lamp. Names include Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis, British photographer Rankin, French creative Camille Walala and Belgium’s Studio Job, with more to be announced.

The collection is set to be revealed this October. And while the works are currently under wraps, they’re set to embolden Astro’s design with modern tweaks while harnessing the distinct style of each collaborator.

The frivolity of retro-futurist aesthetics is striking a chord with today’s consumers, offering a sense of escapism and reprieve in turbulent times. This spirit also resonates as the cost-of-living crisis encourages people to socialise at home, and seek out pieces that lend interiors the flair of hospitality spaces.

First launched by British inventor Edward Craven-Walker in 1963, the lava lamp is a rocket-shaped tabletop design filled with a mix of water and wax-based liquids that interact when heated. This colourful and trippy look made the lamp an icon of the countercultural psychedelic movement of the mid 20th century.

Now, to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Craven-Walker’s founding company Mathmos is enlisting leading design talent to produce their take on the original Astro lava lamp. Names include Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis, British photographer Rankin, French creative Camille Walala and Belgium’s Studio Job, with more to be announced.

The collection is set to be revealed this October. And while the works are currently under wraps, they’re set to embolden Astro’s design with modern tweaks while harnessing the distinct style of each collaborator.

The frivolity of retro-futurist aesthetics is striking a chord with today’s consumers, offering a sense of escapism and reprieve in turbulent times. This spirit also resonates as the cost-of-living crisis encourages people to socialise at home, and seek out pieces that lend interiors the flair of hospitality spaces.