When it comes to serendipitous decisions, minimal lighting design brand, Stickbulb, is right on target. Earlier this fall, co-founders Russell Greenberg and Christopher Beardsley opened up their first gallery/showroom in Long Island City just steps away from MoMa’s PS1. The gallery, which forms part of 10,000-square-foot comprehensive design studio and production facility, opened a mere three months before e-commerce giant Amazon confirmed the waterfront neighborhood as one of its secondary headquarters.
Long a creative hub for artists and designers alike, the brand is deeply engrained in the fabric of the industrially chic neighborhood. “Our roots run deep here,” says Greenberg,“because we carefully built Stickbulb around a network of local vendors.”
Co-founders Russell Greenberg and Christopher Beardsley.
The creative, yet in some cases neglected, laboratory that is Long Island City, beautifully intertwines with Stickbulb’s sustainably-minded ethos of creating cutting-edge lighting while preventing waste. The ideology of the brand—salvaging wood from fallen trees, dilapidated buildings, and old, abandoned water towers to build light—aptly extends into their current space. Stickbulb is housed in a former industrial factory that overlooks a metal scrapyard facing the Queensboro Bridge. When visitors enter, they are greeted by one of the brand’s most stunning examples of adaptive reuse.
Ambassador, the colossal yet fully functional illuminated archway seen above, was crafted from 300-year-old Redwood beams. The sculpture is so visually stunning it won NYCxDesign’s Best in Show in 2017. Set against the showroom/gallery’s raw space, the dichotomy exemplifies Long Island City to perfection—while also making a strong case for Stickulb’s scraps to splendor notion. Considering the changing dynamic of the neighborhood (luxury residential buildings and all) it’s quite uplifting to see brands that stick to their original intent. “We love our neighbors” says Greenberg. “There is a sense of ‘being at the right place, at the right time’ in LIC. We are dedicated to being active, engaged, and responsible members of the community.”
Just how much the neighborhood changes with the arrival of Amazon remains to be seen, but at Stickbulb, it’s comforting to know the creative culture will remain the same.