Stickbulb created an immersive, site-specific lighting installation for the Collective Design Fair, which just ended yesterday at Skylight Clarkson Square in New York City. Designed in collaboration with RUX, Ambassador is a poetic nod to John Steinbeck's 1960s travelogue Travels with Charley and a tribute to the world's largest and most ancient trees.
Made from a giant arc of 300-year-old redwood beams, the form of the sculpture evokes the tree trunks of the mighty redwoods and the circular drums of the water towers from which the wood came while the concept demonstrates the custom capabilities of the Stickbulb lighting system.
"A material does not exist in a vacuum. Provenance matters," RUX Founder and Stickbulb Co-Founder Russell Greenberg commented. "We want to make things of meaning from parts that themselves have meaning. Out of this genuine respect for material origin will come a softer, more sustainable, more poetic built environment."
Once described by John Steinbeck as "ambassadors from another time," only a small fraction of the noble redwoods still exist today. Though they originated from the Pacific coastal forests of Northern California and Oregon, some of these trees, also known as Sequoia Sempervirens, made their way to the East Coast, where they were considered an ideal material for water tower fabrication because of their ability to hold water and resist rot. After years of exposure to sun, wind, rain, and snow on one side and contact with water on the other, the material features unique color banding that is full of character and strikingly beautiful. After considerable research and testing, Stickbulb has acquired a large supply of this stunning, old growth wood and now uses Water Tower Redwood in its collection of sleek, modern lighting fixtures and room-filling custom installations.