A Redwood in Hudson Yards? With Stickbulb's "Chime," It's More Likely Than You Think

Just in time for ICFF, where the upcycled fixture will debut.

Just in time for ICFF, where the upcycled fixture will debut.

The List’s Project Spotlight column features unparalleled projects created by our forward-thinking List members. By going straight to the source—and having the designers demystify the methods behind their designs—we hope to enlighten and inspire our creative audience to further push the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of design.

Trees, as you may have heard, do indeed grow in Brooklyn. But have you considered that a redwood tree might exist among all that otherwise expected flora? It’s more likely than you think.

To clarify: a redwood did exist in Brooklyn, unnoticed until very recently. As luck would have it, the demolition of a defunct water tower at 32 Court St., the landmarked site of Brooklyn’s first skyscraper, yielded used redwood just waiting to be reclaimed. Stickbulb’s lighting experts upcycled the material into a 10-foot chandelier that will be debuted at its ICFF booth. Stickbulb Co-Founder and RUX founder Russell Greenberg walks us through the latest addition to the Stickbulb family, step-by-step, below.

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Description: This year during NYCxDESIGN, Stickbulb will introduce a vertically integrated and ingeniously engineered take on the chandelier. Designed by RUX, the founding creative team behind Stickbulb, Chime is a playful reinterpretation of the classic chandelier and can be designed in many iterations—on its own, in a cluster, or cascading down, one after the other. It will debut as a 10-foot-tall cascading arrangement made out of reclaimed redwood from a water tower atop Brooklyn’s first skyscraper, demonstrating the studio’s commitment to sustainable material sourcing and showcasing the scalable potential of the collection.

Inspiration: I am endlessly inspired by trees, which you can see in all of our lighting designs, but particularly with Chime. It uses our fundamental Stickbulb lighting elements to “reconstruct” a fragment of a tree trunk. It is almost as if the wood is trying to return to its former cylindrical shape using light as a kind of magical glue.

Materials: We use locally reclaimed and sustainably sourced woods to build all of our fixtures. Every year we debut a new collection along with a unique wood story as a way to put equal focus on our designs and the provenance of our material. This year we acquired reclaimed redwood from a recently demolished water tower atop Brooklyn’s first skyscraper at 32 Court Street.

Uniqueness: Our previous collections like Bang, Boom, and Bough are energetically triumphant against gravity. They are geometrically angular with rigid hardware connectors that cantilever Stickbulbs into dynamic compositions. But Chime is different. It is curvaceous, relaxed, and melty. Stickbulbs hang from welded steel rings on flexible ball joint connections that allow each wooden lighting element to independently rotate 360 degrees. They also sway in a gentle breeze, just like a tree.

Challenges: The biggest challenges are the scale and complexity of the piece. There is a 36-inch diameter ring, a 28-inch diameter ring, and a 20-inch diameter ring, all of which can come with various stick lengths. The rings are designed to hang alone, in clusters, or nested within one another, enabling us to make custom variations that are over 12 feet tall. In our old studio, we couldn’t make things this big because we would have nowhere to prototype it or test it before shipping. But we recently moved to a new studio/showroom in Long Island City that enables us to dream—and build—a little bigger.


(Photos: Courtesy Stickbulb)

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