By Anna Zappia
Seattle-based lighting studio LightArt has introduced a new addition to their signature Coil Collection, Coil Collection Naturals. The fixtures are made from upcycled waste, just like the originals, but now feature new colors, bold shapes and sizes, and superior performance technology.
“The Coils Naturals fixtures are really just another evolution of what we can do with a product. It’s a continuation of what we started with Coil, emphasizing the material and then pairing that with the technology. We made the effort to take that content and craft it into a form that had tactile, visual, and emotional quality. We have taken the original and elevated it,” said LightArt president and creative director, Ryan Smith.
The 3D-printed pendants are crafted from the company’s internal waste material, which is then pelletized and sorted by color. When the Coil line was introduced in April 2020, black and white were the only hues to choose from, partly based on what was being sorted. “The original colors that we launched were a way to simply look at the material we were recapturing. The dirtier material, we made black. The cleaner material, we made white. And architecturally, it’s the neutral starting point,” Smith explained.
As with every LightArt product, the team continues to refine materials until the desired effect is achieved, and Smith noted that the first Coil finish was no exception. “We wanted to get the look of the material exactly right. We went through many cycles to get the perfect matte finish, and getting these balanced black and white colors was also a big part of that.”
When deciding to add color to the Coil Collection Naturals, it was the next logical step to incorporate earthy, mineral tones. The new shades are Red Clay, Limestone, and Granite Gray, bringing a touch of warmth to the modern fixtures. “We started to look at what was around us in the environment. Off-white is always a great color because it’s just the soft side of true white. Gray is right in-between. You can cover the different grounds but also have that wonderful reference to stone. And that deep red just felt right,” Smith noted.
The new colors are Granite Gray, Red Clay, and Limestone.
It’s not only a complementary palette, but Smith noted that these hues evoke a sense of calm that’s much needed today. “We love natural colors, and I think a lot of people are focused on colors that are comfortable to them right now. Natural colors are easy for all of us to understand, and they never go out of style—they are timeless,” he added.
Different shapes are in the line, a change from the basic round forms on offer. “Our typical products are made with a flat sheet, and so it was really fun for us to think about creating these new, distinct shapes,” Smith said.
Each canopy echoes the look of ages-old pottery or baskets, which resonates with the collective. “Part of the design process is the ability to elicit different emotions and reactions. If you can ring some of those bells at the same time, you’re on the right track. I think we’re doing that with these shapes,” he added.
This collection also heralds a shift to larger scale, not surprising given that Smith was trained as an architect. He’s constantly analyzing interiors and how people and objects interact within spaces. “I always approach lighting challenges through an architectural lens. It’s thinking about space, form, and the light itself. And how you combine all of those elements, whether it’s for a small, intimate room or a large, commercial setting, to make a space feel right.”
The design team plays with shape and scale to create bold pendants.
Smith noted that spaces are getting larger, workplaces in particular. He expects to see full-scale pieces in all types of offices. “A lot of these newer workspaces have higher ceilings, and they are feeling more voluminous. So, you need a bigger fixture to make sense of that architecturally.”
The LED technology in the Coil Collection Naturals is as exceptional as the design. “The output is about four times that of the original lamp. You can change the lenses and get different beam spreads. You can change the temperature, from warm to cool. There are all of these features that designers have been asking for,” Smith said.
Users want lighting they have the ability to control, to enhance home or office settings. With built-in drivers, illumination can be personalized. “I think everyone approaches lighting a little differently. When we think about what we do, we have to build that flexibility into the product. People are looking at things like dim-to-warm features to change their lighting. The dimmer the light, the warmer the glow is. This line is the first one to incorporate the broad use of this technology,” Smith noted.
While each aspect of the Coil Collection Naturals line is impressive, the sustainability component is one that Smith believes will have lasting impact. The fixtures are free of harmful Red List ingredients, key as designers and consumers alike make more thoughtful purchases. The Living Building products Challenge (LBC) Red List represents “worst in class” materials, chemicals, and elements known to pose serious risks to human health and the greater ecosystem. “We’re using PVC-free power cords and other ingredients that are not on the Red List. This is our strategy around new products, and Coil Collection Naturals embodies all of that,” Smith noted.
It’s a smart plan for the company’s bottom line, and it’s also a compelling story, one that we can relate to. “Over the last year, people have had a lot of time to reflect and think about what’s important and what isn’t. We want to spend our time and money on something that is going to contribute in a positive way,” Smith added.
The Coil Collection Naturals line sets the standard for sustainable lighting.
The fixtures in the Coil Collection Naturals line are made from upcycled waste. Photos courtesy of LightArt.
meet the team
We’re a band of women (and a dog named Evie) inspired by other women, design, innovation, technology, art, and the world around us. We live for the chance to create and disperse powerful, genuine messages that resonate.
Growing up in Seattle, Amy was always exploring the great outdoors but she found a particular thrill in traveling. During a visit to New York City at age 10, she knew that was where she wanted to live. After high school she left her home in the Pacific Northwest behind for the great unknown to attend Fordham University in the Bronx. Upon graduation, Amy received a phone call from CNN offering a job opportunity of a lifetime working in television ad sales at Manhattan's Time Warner Center. When a job opportunity in Los Angeles opened up a few years later, Amy couldn't say no to a new adventure back on the west coast. But Seattle eventually called her back home and Amy returned to pursue a Master's degree in Business Administration with the hopes of learning the skills she needed to feed her entrepreneurial spirit. Before graduating, Amy co-founded Paxson Fay with Tessa Andrews in 2015. Amy focuses on marketing strategy, public relations, social media, and partnerships.
Tessa graduated from Fordham University in New York with a dual bachelor's degree in Communications and Political Science. During her time at Fordham, she worked for an interior designer and at NBC News where she developed her love for both design and communications. After graduating, Tessa managed marketing at 3form, a pioneer in the sustainable building products industry. During her tenure, 3form was repeatedly named one of the most recognized manufacturers in the design industry among architects and designers, and the company won multiple awards for its innovative product launches. After 3form, Tessa consulted on marketing efforts with leading product manufacturers in architecture and design before starting Paxson Fay with Amy.
Claire Butwinick specializes in marketing and social media strategy, copywriting, and public relations. Formerly the Assistant Editor at GRAY Magazine, an international architecture and design publication based in Seattle, Claire brings to Paxson Fay her editorial background and a passion for all things design. In addition to her writing experience, Claire is a seasoned public speaker, moderating a number of panel discussions with IDS Vancouver and Be Original Americas, and hosting the 2019 GRAY Awards. Last year, she took her speaking skills virtual, conducting several Instagram Live interviews with designers amid the pandemic. A graduate from the University of Washington’s School of Communication: Journalism, Claire was honored with a Pioneer News Group Excellence Award for Visual Journalism, selected for the Communication department’s prestigious Career Exploration scholarship, and nominated for a Hearst National Journalism Award. Her work also appears in GRAY Magazine, Office Insight, SagaCity’s Jewish in Seattle Magazine, and more.
After graduating from Fordham University in New York City with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a handful of marketing and PR internships, Colby moved to Boston to manage marketing for a small, women-owned, creative consulting agency. While in that role, Colby managed public relations and marketing efforts for some of Boston's most prominent events and public art initiatives, including the Boston Pickle Fair and The Bulfinch Crossing Projections in downtown Boston. Colby gained experience crafting brand stories and identities through social media marketing and creative copywriting, seen through the successful launch of a premier Massachusetts adult-use dispensary and the revamp of her agency's own website. After two years, Colby decided it was time to figure out what the West Coast was all about. Looking to blend her marketing experience with her passion for design and architecture, Colby found Paxson Fay, where she focuses on social media strategy and management and public relations.
what we do
We are a communications firm founded in our passion for good design. Our unique approach to marketing and public relations in the architecture and design community has elevated our clients work to the next level. We’re backed by a talented community of creatives. From copywriters to social media experts, we provide a complete package of customized services. We strive to create a personal experience with each client, integrating teams and tackling your biggest marketing and public relations challenges from a high level. Then we help execute those plans ensuring lots of reporting along the way, with lots of coffee breaks in between because we’re from Seattle and that’s what we do.
partnerships acquisition and management
media communications and outreach
awards: strategy, content development and submissions
platform strategy and management
results + reporting
budget strategy + negotiation
website and e-mail marketing
video: sourcing, storyboarding and scheduling
photography acquisition + curation
sponsorships + partnerships
Here is a little taste of who we love to work with and what we love to do.