Recycled Light Tube

Castor Design's Recycled Tube Lights

Local design firm Castor was one of the hits of the recent Interior Design Show. A product of designers Brian Richer, Ryan Taylor and Kei Ng, Castor is making waves with their irreverent, striking, contemporary creations. Last Saturday's Globe and Mail gushed about their Recycled Tube Light (pictured above) which has recently popped up in places like Delux, CiRCA, Terroni on Adelaide and the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan.

When they're not busy creating beyond the ordinary designs (like, say, Antler headphones - see their web site) Castor takes on projects like transforming the space that was formerly Kei Restaurant on West Queen West into something called OddFellows.

To get the scoop on this and more I recently connected with Castor's Ryan Taylor. Keep reading for the interview.

Where did the inspiration come from to create the Recycled Tube Light?

Florescent bulbs are an interesting object - they have a unique design and shape. They appear very fragile - yet surprisingly strong. The color of a burnt out bulb has beautiful and widely varied characteristics as well. Also, how often do you walk down the street and see them sticking out of someone's garbage can? I guess it was the fact that there are so many of them that it would be a missed opportunity not to do anything with them.

How green friendly are they? Any plans to take Treehugger up on their suggestion to use compact fluorescents?

They are green friendly in the respect that we rescue many bulbs that would otherwise not be recycled properly and end up in an land fill. The incandescent bulbs we use as well as the halagon bulbs used in the 8 foot version lend themselves well to the design of the lights. They are easier to change because of the length of the bulb and allow for a fuller light within the length of the lights.

Also the irony of using an incandenscent inside the florescents is kind of funny and as everyone knows incandenscents do give off a nicer light. Anyone who purchases a tube light can put whatever type of bulb in it as they please, but this is the way we sell them.

You mention on your web site that the lights are from architectural significant buildings. Which ones?

Most of the bulbs we get have been from U of T - where on campus you can find many of Ontario's/Canada's historical architecture. But the more unique bulbs come from TD Towers - a Mies building.

What's with the antler theme in some of your other products like Antler headphones, cast antlers and the trophy USB?

Nothing specific a bit of coincidence. We weren't able to find any beaver trophy figurines. Graphically, antlers are pretty cool looking too.

How was your recent experience at the Interior Design Show? How do you find this compares to the visibility you'd get at competing shows like Radiant Dark and Come up to my Room?

Well - we were actually at both the IDS show and the Come up to my Room show and we have participated in both in previous years. The shows tend to draw different types of people. The IDS show is good for brand exposure simple due to the fact that they get so many people through the show. Our work tends to stand out there as well because as one gentleman told me at the show (paraphrasing here as I don't remember the exact quote): "I'm glad I just discovered your booth as I have gone through the entire show and everything else is so stiff I felt like I was going to explode".

Come up to my Room while smaller is more of an arts based show where as the IDS is a trade show.

I noticed you're working on a new restaurant called OddFellows in the space currently occupied by Kei. What can you tell us about the new place? Do you have a target date for the opening?

OddFellows is going to be a unique drinking, dining and retail experience open to the public and available for private events. Some of the key features of the space will be a communal 24 foot table, a Fire Orb fireplace (we are the Canadian distributor), a small bar and a variety of products.

We are still working out some of the details - but plan to have OddFellows open two nights a week as a full menu restaurant, while only drinks will be available other nights and during the days people can shop or stop in for a coffee around the fire. We should be opening sometime in the next couple months - we have had to delay work on it as we have been so busy with other projects.

Lastly, what's the story with your web site? I found the target practice to be a pretty good time waster.

If you are going to waste your time - we like that you waste it on our site. Why - did you only shoot things and not explore the rest of the site? We get a lot of emails from people who check back into the site on a regular basis - so we try to keep it fresh and entertaining. We do offer web design as well - just haven't gotten to adding that section yet.

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