Every so often, a project comes along that perfectly aligns craftsmanship, unique customization, and LightArt’s passion for sustainable products. The Seattle-based lighting company had an opportunity to tackle that project early in 2017.
The ILFI approached LightArt with a challenge to build a light fixture that mimicked the Institute’s orange flower logo. They also requested that the chandelier comply with all ILFI Declare program parameters, which require complete material transparency among all building products and finishes. LightArt, as the first lighting manufacturer to achieve Declare status, was able to meet this challenge with a large-scale lighting feature.
The ILFI worked directly with LightArt’s president, Ryan Smith, to collaborate on a concept for the piece. LightArt’s organically blooming artisan pieces were a perfect fit for the project. After determining the fixture type, LightArt was tasked with finding an interlayer for their product that would comply with Declare requirements. “Working on this project pushed us to find a gorgeous new interlayer, and to further consider each and every piece of material and technology that go into our fixtures,” said Smith.
To develop a sustainable fabric interlayer for the material that would make up the fixture, LightArt turned to Washington-based Botanical Colors. Botanical Colors supplies artisans and industry with the materials and know-how to dye textiles in a way that uses less water, is non-toxic and biodegradable, and draws its incomparable color palette from humble plants and natural sources. Kathy Hattori, owner of Botanical Colors, helped the LightArt team to achieve a palette of rich oranges and reds through various dried wildflowers.
After completing the organic interlayers with Botanical Colors, the hand-dyed fabrics were pressed in 3form’s Varia Ecoresin, a 40% post-industrial recycled PETG. Once the interlayer was pressed in 3form and laser cut into petals, LightArt’s artisan James Coury then heat-formed the delicate shapes to create blooming botanical fixtures. Once complete, the flowers were grouped and attached to a center canopy for easy installation in the Bullitt Center’s lobby.
The resulting fixture is a cluster of handmade flowers mirroring the signature ILFI branding. The cluster of flowers incorporates color in a unique way by using organic dyed fabric to highlight ILFI’s orange brand colors without overwhelming the minimalist palette of natural materials seen in the Bullitt Center. The fixture hangs in the center atrium at the Bullitt Center and greets visitors upon arrival, while passersby can see the glow of the fixture from the street. Best of all, the entire fixture is lit by just sixty watts.