For some 20 years, Yellow Goat Design has been filling spaces with boundary-pushing lighting designs that veer more than a few steps off the conventional path. From its 200 Drop pendant — a chandelier-like fixture composed of dozens (or hundreds) of transparent acrylic tubes suspended from a giant ceiling plate — to the swirling mass of satin, polished or powder-coated metal tubes and bars that form Nest, the studio does not do understated. “YGD is always looking to create that ‘Wow’ moment, something that stops people in their tracks,” says senior vice president Nicola Casale of the studio’s raison d’etre.
This ambition for crafting the spectacular was instilled by founder Jerzy Lesko, an Australian artist and designer who decided to create for himself the unusual and statement-making pieces he was unable to find elsewhere. From its humble beginnings in Lesko’s boutique Gold Coast studio, the company has grown into a global presence, regularly collaborating with designers and architects on award-winning projects that span hospitality, aviation, healthcare, residential and other industries. Around 2011, Lesko’s son and brand CEO Nick collaborated with Carey Schuster, president and CEO of the U.S. division, to open its now-main production facility in Cambridge, Ontario, to further strengthen and serve its North American client base.
Though the scale of operations has grown, the approach remains intimate and hands-on: As per Lesko’s original directive, designers spend a minimum of six months working on the factory floor before they begin to create, garnering first-hand knowledge of and appreciation for the materials they use, which include everything from wood, aluminum and brass to acrylic, resin and Tyvek. “We use conventional materials in unconventional ways,” says Casale. “It’s the shape and density of the design that makes them special.”
Alongside the custom installation arm of the business, YGD produces its own portfolio of permanent collections that range from bizarre to beautiful; the pieces can be ordered as-is or used as a jumping-off point and tailored to suit specific wants and needs. The most recent of these, Brief Epiphany, explores the concepts of time and escapism through seven lights (and one decorative screen) that range from trios of flower petal–like shapes in fluted acrylic to a series of digitally printed acrylic panels inserted into metal tubes and arranged in a composition that evokes waves crashing along a shoreline. Dynamic and dramatic, they exemplify YGD’s ability to execute the unexpected in a truly alluring way.
Founder Jerzy Lesko’s ambition for crafting the spectacular results in exceptional statement pieces.