Collective Design Sneak Preview: “Fire and Ice” by STICKBULB and RUX
A Soaring, Site-Specific Light Sculpture Using Historic Wood from Chicago’s Scorched Pullman Couch Factory
For the sixth edition of Collective Design – to be held March 9-11, 2018 at Skylight Clarkson North in New York City – Stickbulb will introduce a suspended light sculpture inspired by and made from the striking ruins of a storied Chicago factory. Designed in collaboration with RUX, the founding creative team behind Stickbulb, Fire and Ice hangs in the balance between destruction and creation, historic and contemporary, visceral and cerebral. From some angles, the form appears to collapse under its own weight, while from others it reveals its strength and geometric resolve. This light sculpture follows the success of their 2017 Ambassador installation at Collective Design turning 300-year-old redwood into a portal of otherworldly light, which won overall Best in Show for NYCxDESIGN.
“Fire and Ice will be a dynamic experience, portraying both fragmentation and fortitude, enticing visitors to experience the installation from all angles,” says Stickbulb Co-Founder Christopher Beardsley.
Made possible through the use of newly developed hardware connectors, the sleek wooden LED beams seemingly splinter in the air, floating above fragments of the former Pullman Couch Factory alongside a large-scale limited edition art print of the building in its last moments. When the 100-year-old Pullman Couch Company building caught fire on January 22, 2013, one third of the Chicago fire department turned out to battle the flames in sub-zero temperatures. As the firefighters doused the structure in water, it froze into a palace of ice around the building’s smoldering core. The clash of elemental opposites created an event of great visual and poetic power, earning what was left of the building the name “Fire and Ice.”
“A material does not exist in a vacuum. Provenance matters,” says RUX Founder and Stickbulb Co-Founder Russell Greenberg. “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 meaningful built environment.”
Fire and Ice is part of Stickbulb’s ongoing mission to elevate material provenance to the same stature as form and function in the realm of design manufacturing. Long Leaf, or Heart Pine as it is commonly known, once covered about 90 million acres of southeastern United States, and was logged to near extinction in order to feed an insatiable building boom in many cities including New York and Chicago. As heartwood takes a minimum of 200 to 400 years to mature, practically the only American heartwood to be found today is through salvage from structures such as the Pullman Couch Factory. With the creation of Fire and Ice, Stickbulb celebrates the re-use of natural materials while preserving the beauty of this ancient wood.
Part of RUX Studios, Stickbulb was co-founded in 2012 by RUX Founder and Creative Director Russell Greenberg and RUX Managing Partner Christopher Beardsley as a way to combine their mutual love of architecture, modular systems, and sustainable manufacturing. Born from a pile of scrap wood, the original objective of Stickbulb was to “build with light,” which has since been fulfilled in collaborations with brands like Google, Facebook and Wholefoods as well as private commissions for hotels, offices and residences across the globe. Stickbulb LED fixtures are handcrafted in New York City from sleek wooden beams using reclaimed materials sourced from locally demolished buildings and sustainably managed forests. Stickbulb products range from small desk lamps to room-filling custom installations and can be found in a growing list of international showrooms. http://stickbulb.com