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LASER FOCUS The brothers-in-law behind Canadian firm Gabriel Scott use the most up-to-date technology to craft furnishings with a sleek and sexy edge.

When Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick put their New York townhouse on the market last September, the listing went viral. And while Sex and the City fans got worked up about the Carrie-worthy walk-in closet, design enthusiasts geeked out over the dining room light fixture, a Welles chandelier by Montreal firm Gabriel Scott. "We definitely got a boost from that," says Scott Richler, who cofounded the company three years ago with Gabriel Kakon, his brother-in-law. The fact that the steel-and-copper piece had not been purchased by the celebrity couple themselves—the home had been professionally staged for the sale—mattered not a whit. "We got calls about it for weeks," says Kakon with a grin.

Distinguished by angular forms and the use of laser-cut metal, Gabriel Scott designs are handmade in Quebec and meticulously crafted, down to the custom hardware. Both architects by training, Kakon and Richler had collaborated on high-end bespoke furniture for nearly a decade before launching the company. "With one-offs, there wasn't much potential for growth," explains Kakon. So they switched gears, embracing a strategy of what they call "smart engineering." Each piece is designed with an eye toward efficient assembly, allowing the company to manufacture in volume. Take, for example, the Welles fixtures, which are composed of a series of eight-inch metal polyhedrons. A client can buy a single unit or a complex configuration of units riveted together in almost any number of permutations to resemble something out of an organic chemistry textbook. "The modular aspect allows for incredible flexibility," says Will Cooper of design team Ash NYC, who staged Parker and Broderick's house. "But the result is something that feels like a piece of art."

"Their price point is one of the reasons clients say yes," says New York City interior decorator Nicole Fuller, who points to the sensual chain-link Kelly chandelier and marble-topped Prong coffee table as her personal favorites. "It's nice to show your clients that not everything costs $20,000." Most of the company's furniture is available in stock and ready to ship from their warehouse in upstate New York within days of ordering. Then again, there are always clients who want something out of the box. Kakon and Richler are currently fabricating their most ambitious Welles piece to date, a 30-foot-long design customized to hang vertically over a stairwell in another New York town-house. "It's not like we're going to say no to that," says Kakon. CATHERINE HONG

Twentieth is proud to represent Lambert et Fils, a Montreal-based lighting design studio founded in 2010 by Samuel Lambert. The studio is influenced by mid-century Modernism, the Industrial Age, as well as Lambert's own minimalist aesthetic. Lambert et Fils combines these influences with a contemporary mindset to create the varied and distinctive lighting collection you see here.

BEAUBIEN Floor lamp / Pendant / Wall lamp Brass, powder-coated aluminum, and steel 5"D x 17"W x 60"H

ATOMIUM Pendant Brass 38"D x 33.5"W x 23"H

CLIFF FLOOR Floor lamp Brass, powder-coated aluminum, and black nylon wire 25.5"D x 33.25"W x 61.25"H

ANTIPODE Pendant Brass 5"D x 47"W x 12.5"H

CLARK Desk Lamp Brass, powder-coated aluminum, marble, and black nylon wire 6.25"D x 10"W x 18"H

PERCHOIR Pendant Brass and black nylon wire 5"D x 17"W x 26.25"H

DOT LINE SUSPENSION Pendant Brass, powder-coated aluminum, and black nylon wire 2"D x 72"W x 5.5"H

BEAUBIEN SUSPENSION Pendant Brass and powder-coated aluminum 19"D x 19"W x 23"H

CLIFF SUSPENSION Pendant Brass 22.25"D x 42.5"W x 26"H

The studio extends its collection through a constant exploration of new materials, forms, and applications. Lambert et Fils is committed to a tradition of quality, in-house design, and craftsmanship in lighting.

Canadian design brand Castor was founded in 2006. Seeking to find the middle ground between art and design, Castor's products are innovative and distinctive, while remaining highly functional. Explore some of our favorite picks from the brand, including sculptural pendant lights, clever task lamps, and eye-catching furniture.

The Recycled Tube Light is an unexpected light that blends recycled materials and innovative design details to create a truly distinctive light source. The light is comprised of recycled T8 fluorescent bulbs as diffusers, which work to emit a soft, warm light. The recycled bulbs are secured by powder-coated white metal straps, furthering the industrial look of the light. The light can be used to complement a modern interior, or as a pleasant contrast in a more traditional space.

The Axis Floor Lamp from Castor is at once a work of sculpture and a functional light source. Made of precisely machined and anodized aluminum, the light features three poles that intertwine to create a stable structure. The light source, within the main column, is able to rotate 180 degrees, making it easy to adjust light where needed. The other two rods can slide freely through the main column, which adjusts the angle of the light source. This sculptural floor lamp is an undeniable statement-maker.

The Biker Stool from Castor is a refined and sculptural seat that is available at both chair and bar heights. Inspired by the geometry of a motorcycle seat, the stool's seat features a curved and angled silhouette. The seat is lined in leather and is connected to tubular steel legs, furthering the connection to its industrial origins. The legs and seat are joined by custom machined brass "bungs" which add a touch of shine to the stool.

The Coil Table Lamp is a lightweight task lamp comprised of powder-coated aluminum, copper-plated steel and acrylic. The innovative lamp draws power from either of Apples first generation magsafe adapters. The lamp head is fitted with LEDs that emit a warm directional light that can be used in a professional office or domestic setting. The lamp is supported by copper-plated steel that has been expertly bent to provide a stable base despite the lamp's light weight.

The Deadstock Catherine Table Lamp from Castor is a stunning example of the possibilities of mixing materials. Centered around a cylindrical shade salvaged from a defunct lighting factory, the Catherine Lamp is supported by a precisely machined brass stem and cantilever, which is supported by a Carrara marble base that was salvaged from the First Canadian Place in Toronto. The structure of the lamp enables it to be adjusted, making it easy to redirect light as needed.

The TRI-pod Table from Castor represents an expert combination of materials. Featuring a circular, powder-coated top that rests on three oak legs that are held together by a hand-hammered brass ring, the table is both functional and artful. This occasional table can be used in a variety of interior spaces, from formal living rooms to home offices and casual dens. The sleek white top is undoubtedly modern, while the oak legs play to traditional aesthetics.

The Conic Section LED Pendant Light from Castor is light that is inspired by mathematics. A conic section is a curve that is obtained at the intersection of a cone and a plane, which is reflected in the design of the pendant light. The Conic Section Pendant is available in four different iterations - a hyperbola, ellipse, parabola, circle - which are created by cutting the cone at different angles. The cages of each pendant are plated in black chrome, which helps to reflect the light emitted from the interior LED lamp. Adjusting the direction of light is easy, as the overlaying shields can be moved.

The Black Wall Mirrors are a sculptural wall hanging. Each mirror in the series is structured in a semisphere, adding depth to the mirror. The glass has a slight black tint finish, which gives off a clean reflection with a subtle darkened tone. Made of spun metal that has been black powder-coated, the mirror gives the illusion of hovering just in front of the wall. Available in three sizes, the Black Wall Mirrors can be used individually in a variety of interiors, including entryways, living rooms, and bedrooms. The mirrors can also be grouped together to create a bold wall display.

Lindsey Adelman with Branching Bubble Chandelier

Detail, glass barnacle with gold foil and brass stamen

Custom Branching Chandelier with rope

Detail, Porcelain and Leather Pendant

Branching Burst Chandelier

Small Knotty Bubbles Sconce

Custom Burst Chandelier, polished nickel

Fish Wing necklace

Branching Chandelier with custom powder-coat arms, brass hardware and porcelain shades

Stacking Bubble Chandelier

Shade models and natural inspiration at studio

Custom Knotty Bubbles Chandelier

Clamp Light installation

Lindsey Adelman with Branching Bubble Chandelier

 

Diversifying Design: A Q&A with Ambra Medda

Prior to joining Christie’s in London as global creative director for its recently expanded 20/21 Design department, Ambra Medda made her mark as co-founder of Design Miami and creator of the online collectible design platform L’ArcoBaleno. Anna Kats talked with her about the plans to increase the audience for the design category at Christie’s and the lessons she has learned from past ventures.

What are the biggest changes in the design market in recent years? 
There’s a lot more interest now than when I launched Design Miami a decade ago. At that time, exhibitors tended to bring as much merchandise as possible and hope for the best. Now, dealers are more likely to present a curated exhibition that tells a story or highlights the work of one designer. Design has been elevated and presented in a way that does it justice. 

When you created L’ArcoBaleno, was there a niche in the market you were seeking to fill? 
Like it or not, digital is a big part of the way people are consuming culture and exercising buying power. While there was a lot of information out there about design broadly, I saw there really wasn’t anything in the digital sphere that justified and explained why pieces are important — be it because of the way they’re made, the legacy that they represent, or because of their provenance. 

The Internet offers an opportunity to inform people and present some of the most exciting material to an international audience that may not have access to galleries and fairs.

Do you see the emergence of more cultural diversity in the design realm? 
Clearly there’s a lot more design coming from all over the world, and that’s incredibly exciting, especially since we’ve had a European orientation and aesthetic for so long. I saw wonderful shows of Japanese design at the Japanese embassy this past year; I’ve seen phenomenal Korean crafts being presented at Maison et Objet as well as at the London Design Festival. At the Royal College of Art, which has a very strong design program, a notably high percentage of the students are Asian. Whether you go to Maison et Objet or the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, or even to the Salone del Mobile, which is happening this month in Milan, you will see pieces by a number of emerging Asian designers.
Is there a balance that you will seek in the variety of historic decorative arts and contemporary design that Christie’s will be offering? 
The beauty of design is that it’s such an elastic field. Because it includes so many things, we are at liberty to mix things and create unexpected combinations of merchandise that may make you look at things very differently. So I think that’s my quest: to introduce people to something new through interesting juxtapositions.

What do you see as a good investment at the moment? 
Since the great recession, traditional pieces have done the best. I think people have felt more confident spending money on things that have a steady track record or are big names. I think now we’re sort of moving out of that safety phase. People are starting to open their eyes and be potentially more open to buying some things that are less secure. 

I also see a lot of opportunity in Italian design. People such as Ettore Sottsass, I feel, are kind of undervalued. You can buy a beautiful piece from the 1980s that is a complete masterpiece, utterly unique, and it actually costs less than an emerging talent. 

A successful piece of design, for me, is both functional and beautiful. You can love your tea strainer, because when it’s well designed and functional, there’s something really encouraging and refreshing and comforting in knowing that. As always, I’m a tremendous advocate of following your gut and being honest to your own instinct. At the end of the day it’s design—hopefully you’re using it, you’re living with it, and it’s enriching your everyday life.

 

Created in collaboration with the ceramicist Alice Goldsmith, the Link Porcelain pendant examines both the strength and vulnerability of the artist’s porcelain chain

Link Porcelain Pendants by Apparatus

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Fractured links suspend oversized brass shades, their fragility anchored and protected by the oppositional metal.

Link Porcelain Quad-pendant

Link Porcelain Mono-pendant

Link Porcelain Tri-pendants

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