When we create something it seems that we establish a relation with it. By
manipulating and therefore recreating it, somehow we give it a spirit of its own.
“Bicho” is a portuguese word without a direct translation.
It means something like a “creature”…a wild creature!
Bichos are hand-made lamps and each branch is unique creating a new range of lamp
species. Although it doesn’t refer to any particular animal that i know of.
The light source of every member of this family is made by textile-covered electrical
cords that run through each lamp in a different way resembling the blood as a life-giving
This species are born from the pruning of portuguese Holm (Holly) Oak trees.
Its wood is used since ancient times and is known for its hardness and high quality
Lamp cycle to minimize waste:
tree pruning / brunch into lamp / lamp use / high-quality firewood
Photos by Francisco Nogueira
Here’s some more information from the Martinho Pita:
Portuguese architect Martinho Pita has designed a series of lamps reusing a number
of branches obtained from pruning.
The series, called Bichos (which in Portuguese means “creatures”), is hand made out
of discarded Portuguese holly tree branches.
Each unique item appears animated, as if a fantastical creature frozen in movement.
The series was born out of a sabbatical period in which Pita spent a few months away
from the city.
“The first lamp I did was in 2008 and it is still in my leaving room today,” Pita says. “I
love the process of things so its “mistakes” are still intact.”
“I learned the art of transforming wood into lamps with my father who is an artist.
For me it became essential to learn how to prune a tree, the right time of the year, the
right branch, the angle and distance of the cut in order for the tree to heal itself,” Pita
states, describing the process of making each of the Bichos lamps.
“Once on the ground I calibrate the branch in the right position and peel it while is fresh
and soft. It’s then a matter of shaping, sanding and detailing it before it dries completely
since holly wood is extremely hard. It is important to understand its dynamics.”
In each lamp, a red or black textile-covered electrical cord runs through the branch,
recalling, in Pita’s words, “blood as a life-giving source.”
The medium-sized Bichos series lamps are free-standing and seek to be part of a
waste-minimizing life cycle: from discarded branch, to lamp, to firewood, in the end.
Martinho Pita in Domus Magazine