With Coil Lamp, Toronto’s Castor Design retools existing objects into an illuminating design.
Bringing new life to utilitarian objects that no longer have a function is something Castor Design has mastered as few other green-conscious product designers have. Old fire extinguishers have been sawn into colourful cup-shaped pendants; used fluorescent bulbs have been reconfigured to form oblong chandeliers; and the Carrara marble removed from the First Canadian Place tower in Toronto a few years ago has found its way into the duo’s growing collection of minimalist home accessories and furniture. In their hands, what is old, spent and burnt out is just waiting to be reborn.
Coil Lamp fits in beautifully with the studio’s unique artistry of retooling: it is modestly constructed from a single piece of machined aluminum rod, with a copper-plated base and a custom spring. To power the five-watt LED, a magnetized Apple MagSafe first-generation adapter snaps onto the heel of the light. Assuming that we all have one or more of these now-redundant adapters still kicking around, Castor doesn’t sell the cord with the lamp. Rather, it offers an original and wise way for buyers to repurpose their own stash of short-lived technology.
About the designers: Since 2006, Kei Ng and Brian Richer have collaborated on various enterprises, from products to art installations to the interior of Toronto’s popular nose-to-tail restaurant Parts & Labour. Their furniture and lighting can be found at retailers such as Klaus in Toronto, New York’s Matter, and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong. castordesign.ca
Project team: Brian Richer with Jesse Mykolyn and Kei Ng
What the jury said: “Castor’s work is often lighthearted, and you can see that in the Coil Lamp. The piece is intelligent and made with an economy of materials. At the same time, it taps into a Dutch sensibility, but without being too Dutch.” – Jamie Gray, juror