Rén is a customizable lantern with an integrated OLED screen for users to project whatever moving images or videos they’d like.
Over the past few years, we’ve learned to prioritize what is most important to us. From going to the virtual family reunion to getting creative in the arts, we’re keeping the stuff that matters most to us extra close. Since the pandemic has transformed many of those experiences into digital ones, designers shave been getting creative in making them as large as real life, and sometimes even larger.
Designer: Merve Nur Sökme
Rén, designed by Merve Nur Sökme, was created to immortalize life experiences and make them portable. Designed for LG and Dezeen’s Go Competition for OLED designs, Rén is conceptualized as a multifunctional handheld lantern that can also transform into a large OLED screen that operates just like a projector.
Describing the inspiration behind the product’s name, Nur Sökme explains, “Ren (Chinese: 仁, meaning “co-humanity” or “humaneness”) is the Confucian virtue denoting the good quality of a virtuous human when being altruistic. Ren relies on the understanding of human nature and being.”
In its initial state, Rén is a portable lantern that emits soft, ambient lighting. Ideal for a bedside table or den coffee table, Rén gives off a warm light that seeps through moving images on the product’s OLED screen.
When rolled out, Rén transforms into a projecting screen where users can watch their favorite movies or host virtual Zoom parties. In both of its modes, Rén is what the user makes of it. With its customizable OLED screen, users can decide what they’d like to project to make the lantern feel more like a personal keepsake that they can carry around.
Speaking to Rén’s many functions, Nur Sökme notes, “Besides watching a movie when OLED screen is wide open, when it is rolled it can also be used as a bedside lamp at night, an aquarium, a lava lamp, a screen for recipe tracking in the kitchen. It can be flexible in use as much as the user needs. Its simple design approach gives the user to express her/himself through the Rén.”