Heirloom Stack

Available for purchase from Tokyo Smoke.

Canada is at the forefront of change with the upcoming nationwide legalization of cannabis. It’s an opportunity to bring considered, well designed products to a wider range of existing and new cannabis consumers.

The Heirloom Stack is designed by Castor Design for Tokyo Smoke—a Canadian, design-driven lifestyle brand. The set is precisely cast from heat-resistant pink borosilicate glass, and includes all the essentials in one stackable shape: a pipe, an ashtray, and a grinder with a space for storage in its reverse side. The grinder component of the stack features a pattern derived from traditional millstones to achieve a greater grind consistency and a perfect burn.

The three-piece set evokes the charm of a vintage candy dish—one that your grandmother might have owned.

Tokyo Smoke Cannabis Accessories

Canada is at the forefront of change with its nationwide legalization of cannabis. It’s an opportunity to bring considered, well-designed products to a wider range of existing and new cannabis consumers. The set is designed by Castor Design for Tokyo Smoke—a Canadian, design-driven lifestyle brand. It includes a pipe, a grinder, a storage bowl, and a rolling tray.

The tray is machined from HDPE sheets with spaces for holding tools and for storing whole and ground plant product. The slot in the tray can be used to hold a rolling paper for easy filling from the storage space beside it.

The shape for the tray and the grinder draws upon Tokyo Smoke’s lantern logo. The grinder uses the traditional milling pattern also found in the heirloom Stack pipe set, allowing for an easy, consistent grind.

The pipe is a discrete one-hitter that can be pre-loaded and covered with the heat shrink sleeve for convenient storage. The storage bowl has a polyurethane stopper that keeps plant product freshly sealed in a scent-protecting container. The storage bowl’s shape is informed by the base of a fire extinguisher. The stopper is available in red or black.

Skrillex Mirror

The Skrillex Mirror uses a rear-mounted speaker to vibrate the mirror’s surface in time with movements in music. With the music turned off it functions as a standard mirror, but with music playing the reflection becomes dynamic. The Skrillex Mirror plays the dubstep artist’s Top 5 Bass Drops (as determined by Castor) to have the greatest impact on the surface vibration.

Telescope

Castor Design used the Aluminum Group Show as an opportunity to further explore an area of interest through the Royal Castor Telescopy Club, a division of its Sciences and Humanities Division.

For the show, Castor has produced a fully functioning Newtonian reflecting telescope. Named after its inventor, this type of telescope has a concave “primary mirror” at its lower end (8” 1200mm f/6 mirror), and a diagonal “secondary mirror” at the end of the eyepiece. The telescope uses a Dobsonian pivoting base to locate its focus, and sits atop a rotating platform.

Coming soon to Detroit

Castor Design is opening a US studio location.

Castor US Studio
1525 McClellan Ave
Detroit, MI, USA
48214

Simple Truths

On March 21st 2019 Castor Design and East Room’s New Auction held an exhibition called “Simple Truths” collecting recent work by Castor Design’s Science and Humanities Division. The pieces in the show are all motivated by scientific concepts. The opening was preceded by a dinner and followed by a live set by “Mothership,” a Led Zeppelin cover band.

Projects included:

Middle Grey Pendant

“Middle Grey” is the name given to the 18% black shade that appears to the eye to be halfway between black and white. The Middle Grey Pendant is made from laser-cut extruded aluminum tube, and uses an Acrylite® Satinice diffuser to enhance the light from its LED source. The pendant lights are linkable between their barrel jack end caps. 

Technical Information (PDF)

Ug=mgh

A “gravity battery” is a type of machine that creates and stores energy through raising a mass and allowing it to fall. This type of machine explores the Laws of Thermodynamics, the first of which describes how energy is not created or destroyed, but is transferred from one form into another form. Here, gravitational potential energy is transferred into kinetic energy, which is then transformed into light.

Ug= mgh illustrates these principles through the controlled fall of a 200 lb cube of marble, which is used to power LED lights on a table lamp. The marble block is suspended from a pulley 10’ high. Once the marble begins its descent, it will drive a custom-machined aluminum gear set, which turns a small dynamo motor that powers the table lamp. For every rotation of the first gear, the motor turns 146 times.

The title Ug= mgh describes the formula at work. The Ug in the equation refers to gravitational potential energy. When being lifted, the marble cube is gaining gravitational potential energy, since work is required to elevate the object against gravity. At its peak, the object possesses its maximum gravitational potential energy. Then mgh is the relationship between the object’s mass, its acceleration due to gravity, and the height it falls from. The gravitational potential energy is converted into kinetic energy as the mass is raised and then through its fall.

It takes the marble block roughly 10 to 14 minutes to fall completely, depending on the motor’s distance from the final gear. At which point, the weight will need to be cranked back up to the top again. Mechanical advantage of the crank allows the user to easily reset the machine.

Non-Finito

Castor Design’s Brian Richer has updated his Captive series for 2018. In addition to the pieces displayed in the previous captive collection, some new pieces were shown at an exhibition at Mjolk this May. These include a captive Donald Judd chair, a captive planter and a captive vase. A captive cube in alabaster and a captive bowl electroplated in copper during the CU Exhibition were also on display.

Induction Wall Light

The aim of the Induction Wall Light is to use a scientific concept to approach lighting in a unique way. It powers a burnt-out fluorescent bulb through an electromagnetic field.

A fluorescent bulb is normally lit with a wired connection at each of its pins, sending power through the filaments at either end and causing collisions between electrons inside the tube, which then give off light as they pass through the bulb’s phosphorous coating. When a bulb is burnt-out, it will be blackened on its ends, indicating that the fuses are blown and that it will no longer work in a standard fluorescent lighting setup. Despite the fact that the bulb seems useless as-is, it can still be lit through electromagnetic induction.

The Induction Wall Light offers an opportunity to find interesting new uses for existing materials without letting them go to waste. Rather than destroying a fluorescent bulb, which would release gases that might be environmentally harmful (i.e. Argon and Mercury gases are commonly used in fluorescent bulbs), the Induction Wall Light can power any intact fluorescent bulb. It demonstrates that there is still life left in old bulbs even though they seem exhausted.

Cloud Chamber

An electric Cloud Chamber that shows the trails of electrons and other subatomic particles through a vapour cooled down to -40°C. A cloud
chamber is a particle detector used for visualizing the passage of ionizing radiation. A charged particle interacts with the vapour by knocking electrons off gas molecules during collisions, resulting in a trail of ionized gas particles. Using a Van de Graaff generator in the vicinity of the cloud chamber will result in shockwave-like patterns through the vapour. The ability to view these trails reveals some truth about the universe.

Middle Grey

Castor is debuting its Middle Grey series at ICFF New York 2018. In photography, painting, and printing, Middle Grey is the name given to the shade of grey that appears to the human eye to be halfway between black and white. It’s used to determine how light will affect a given film stock (i.e. whether it will result in under or over-exposure). The specific Middle Grey shade is generally defined as reflecting 18% of visible light. Castor’s Middle Grey line uses this shade as the basis for its finish colour.

The series is limited to one process to make each form, carried out through a family of products. The Floor Lamp, Wall Sconce, Desk Lamp, and the Pendant are all made from extruded aluminum tube that is laser-cut and painted. Each light uses an LED light source through an acrylic diffuser.

The Floor Lamp and Desk Lamp are both weighted with grey marble.

The Desk Lamp and Sconce use “elevator style” push-button switches, while the Floor Lamp uses a rotary knob to activate the light.

The Pendant lights are capped with polyurethane and can be powered from either end through an input jack. The pendant lights are linkable when connected with a male-to-male connector.

Prototypa – IIDEX Toronto

Castor Design’s Creative Director Brian Richer gave a talk at the Prototypa installation at IIDEX Toronto, presented by Form Us With Love and Shaw Contract. The conversation, moderated by Lia Forslund, focused on prototyping in the design process and iterating ideas.

Two to the power of Seventy Four Million Two Hundred and Seven Thousand Two Hundred Eighty One minus One

M74207281 is the largest known prime number. Represented in scientific notation, the number is 2^74207281-1. Written out, the number is “two to the power of seventy-four million, two hundred seven thousand, two hundred eighty-one, minus one.” Found in January 2016 by the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, it is 22.3 million digits long.

The Two to the power of Seventy Four Million Two Hundred and Seven Thousand Two Hundred Eighty One minus One books are part of Castor Design’s continued exploration of scientific and mathematical principles; presenting universal truths in a simple, elegant way. Past projects with Castor’s Science and Humanities division have included an electron accelerator, a particle cloud chamber, and lighting projects using the wireless transfer of electricity. Brian Richer of Castor Design conceived of the books, which were designed with Alex Durlak of Perish Publishing. The books are part of a series that also includes a 50’ long poster at 2 pt font, t-shirts with the book’s title, and an Instagram feed @M74207281Prime posting 4900 digits of the number each day, complete in 2030.

A prime number is a natural number that has no positive divisor other than 1 and its itself, e.g. 2, 3, 5, 7, etc. They play an important role in pure mathematics and its applications. Though we have spent centuries working with prime numbers, their true nature and distribution remain a mystery. Based on Euclid’s postulate using the sequence of known prime numbers as building blocks for the larger primes that follow, we know that there are an infinite number of primes. However, they strangely occur less frequently as they get larger. German mathematician Bernhard Riemann observed that the frequency of prime numbers is very closely related to the behaviour of an elaborate function called the Riemann Zeta function: The Riemann hypothesis asserts that all solutions of the equation lie on a certain vertical straight line. A proof that would explain the distribution of prime numbers is one of the last great unsolved mathematics puzzles.

Each of the volumes of 2^74207281-1 is over 1300 pages long for a combined total of 3982 pages of the number’s digits. Despite the apparent randomness of prime numbers, the digits have significance whether we recognize the numbers as prime or not. G.H. Hardy wrote, “317 is a prime number not because we think so, or because our minds are shaped in one way or another but because it is so, because mathematical reality is built that way.”

Like the books in Borges’ Library of Babel whose seemingly random letters and punctuation served as building blocks for the basis of language and the universe, the digits within 2^74207281-1 reveal the universe’s mathematical structure. Everything in the universe, including humanity, is part of this structure. All matter is made of particles which have properties of charge and spin; these properties are essentially mathematical. Notwithstanding their apparent simplicity and fundamental character, prime numbers remain one of the most mysterious objects studied by mathematicians. The impossible task of the series is to present the number in such a way that it may reveal some insight into the nature of prime numbers.

Book Details
274207281-1 is published by Perish Publishing, Toronto in 2017. It is printed in a limited edition of ten, two artist’s copies and one display copy. This book is designed by Alex Durlak of Perish Publishing and Brian Richer of Castor Design. It was edited and set into type at Standard Form, then printed by Copywell and bound by Anstey Bindery in Toronto. Each edition is held by a honed Carrara marble bookend with a black reflective face.

The book is 7” by 10.5”, a ratio that follows the classic harmonic 2 : 3 proportions. The margin proportions follow the common medieval structure of 2 : 3 : 4 : 6. The cases are wrapped in white book cloth and the binding features black edge colouring, black
headbands and black endpapers. The covers and spine are printed on a letterpress in black and the colophon is printed on a letterpress in metallic silver on the endpapers. The inside pages were printed on a web inkjet press in black on Bible paper.

The titling face is Bauer Bodoni by Heinrich Jost for the Bauer Foundry in 1926 and is based upon a serif cut by Giambattista Bodoni in 1798. The body face is Figgins Sans by Nick Shinn for Shinntype and is based upon a series of sans serifs cut by the V. & J. Figgins foundry in 1836. The paper is Ethos Uncoated Inkjet, made at the Appleton Coated mill in Combined Locks, Wisconsin.

“Boys Don’t Scry” Black Mirror

In 1874, Torontonians Matthew Evans & Henry Woodward patented their design for the incandescent light bulb before selling the patent to Thomas Edison, who went on to produce and popularize their design. As part of a series of exhibitions commissioned by Cadillac for Canada 150, our Black Mirror installation at Union Station in Toronto is an opportunity for self-reflection, drawing inference from Canadian lighting innovation, and is our take on the power of light.

The Black Mirror is a tinted reflective dot in the centre of a recessed white area. Behind the mirror are twelve custom-built 100W LEDs arranged radially, spreading the light outward in each direction and softened by a sheet of scrim in between. These super bright LEDs have a combined output of 168,000 lumens. For comparison, daylight is 98,000 lumens. Staring into a black reflective surface with a glow behind it, the Black Mirror installation calls to mind our use of cell phones. Although the screen is ubiquitous today, black-tinted mirrors have long been used for their ability both reflect and abstract what’s before them. We’ve taken this idea and multiplied it in scale.

Landscape painters often used black mirrors as a tool to abstract the subject reflected in them by reducing a scene’s colour and tonal range. The occult technique of scrying works the same way. Scrying involves peering into an object for inward reflection, or to receive a message or prophecy. To scry, look deep into the mirror without picking a spot to focus on. Between the brightness of the light and the tint in the mirror, it eventually becomes hard to discern figures. You may notice a small, cloudy glow in the centre of the mirror.

Photos by Peter Andrew Lusztyk (@PeterAndrewLusztyk), Joshua Telfer (@JoshuaTelfer), and Ryan Tacay (@Phraction).

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge – Brooklyn

Each of the rooms in the Brooklyn Bridge 1 Hotel have our Deadstock Catherine Lamps on their bedside tables. Custom double-headed lights were also commissioned for rooms with multiple beds.

Products: Deadstock Catherine Lamp

Design: INC Architecture
Photography: 1 Hotels

Crux marble Mortar and Pestle

Made from marble and beechwood, the mortar and pestle can be used in different combinations to grind spices, herbs and teas. The wood bowl is for softer milling, while the marble dish is for hard crushing. The wood bowl pivots for ease of use.

Available from Umbra Shift.

Stockists

STOCKISTS

Canada
Calgary – Vivid Concepts 
Edmonton – Vivid Concepts
Montréal – Lumigroup
Ottawa – The Modern Shop
Québec City – Lumigroup
Toronto – Mjölk
Toronto – Stylegarage
Vancouver – Inform
Victoria – Gabriel Ross
Winnipeg – Hut K

USA
Austin – Scott + Cooner
Dallas – Scott + Cooner
Denver – Studio Como
Los Angeles – A+R
Los Angeles – Mirom Design
Los Angeles – twentieth
New York – Matter
San Francisco – Propeller
Seattle – Inform

Europe
Berlin – 10119Design
Berlin – The Store (at Soho House Berlin)
London – Alex Eagle
London – The Conran Shop

Asia
Hong Kong – Lane Crawford

ONLINE STOCKISTS
2Modern
Dwell
grshop
Hobo Society
Kaufmann Mercantile
Lightology
Lumens
Modern Planet
Y-lighting

Questions? Please contact sales@castordesign.ca

Captive Exhibition

The Captive (or ‘unfinished’) figures of Michelangelo are the primary inspiration for the series by Brian Richer. Richer, the Creative Director at Castor Design is also a trained stone carver. He has worked on many architecturally significant buildings in North America, and has explored captives for years.

The Captive sculptures are simple Platonic forms, hand-carved with a mallet and chisel – no power tools were used in their carving. Unlike most sculptors—who built a model and then marked up their block of marble to know where to carve—Michelangelo always worked freehand. He saw the sculptor’s job was to reveal the work that already existed within the stone. In these figures one can still see the grooves from the chisel, the process of the work, revealing the hand of the sculptor.

The finished collection is one that presents simple classic forms: a stool, side table, and a bowl emerging from rough blocks of Indiana Limestone partially consumed by the natural material. The result is both recognizable and venerable at once.

“Liberace x Flavin” – AZ Awards 2016

The “Liberace x Flavin” installation is a music and light performance for Azure Magazine’s 2016 AZ Awards. Hundreds of fluorescent tubes between six and ten feet tall are set up around a grand piano, lit wirelessly through induction in the same vein as a Tesla coil. The light sculpture is sound-sensitive; its mass of fluorescent tubes activate based on a concert pianist’s performance. Each note adjusts the brightness of the sculpture’s bulbs.

Pianist: Amy Seulky Lee.
Photography: Peter Lusztyk.
Videography: Peter Lusztyk, Chris Clifford.

Particle Accelerator

​“Nature Abhors a Vacuum”

Despite our growing familiarity with particle accelerators like CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, for most of us the idea of a particle accelerator is still abstract. Castor Design have produced their take on the particle accelerator in an effort to make the science behind the concept more approachable.

The Castor Design particle accelerator is based on research by physicist JJ Thomson at Cambridge in 1897. Thomson is credited with discovering the electron while passing a cathode ray between two electrodes in a glass vacuum tube. Castor’s particle accelerator operates in the same way.

With consideration given to the accelerator’s design, its hand-blown glass tube with machined electrodes is displayed on top of a black marble base with an overhanging shade. Its transformer and vacuum are presented alongside, housed in custom component boxes.

When electrical current is activated and a enough of a vacuum has been formed within the tube in order for electrons to travel without striking a molecule of gas, low­-mass particles accelerate to 30% of the speed of light, which strike other atoms and give off light as they settle.

The arced plasma light quickly stabilizes and “flows” in a straight line across the centre of the tube. As gas molecules undergo more collisions, emission wavelengths appear separated out into plasma bands, demonstrating the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. More columns indicate that the electrons’ energy in a given state is less defined. When the vacuum dissipates, the plasma reaches its extinction point and scatters.

Pierced Light

The Pierced Light is an exploration in glass-blowing and organic glass forms. The table light features a hand-blown glass body and a steel rod with an internal LED lamp. The molten glass is rolled and inflated, and then pierced on an angle as it solidifies. Once hardened, the glass body is sand-blasted for use as a diffuser to spread a soft light. The glass extends from the round body in the direction it was pierced, giving a nod to the fabrication process. Each glass body is crafted with unique sculptural quality, and its distinct form is given contrast by the minimal design of the LED rod that fits through its pierced hole. Stripped of any ornamentation, the lamp is finished in copper, chrome, or gold, and is activated by a button at the end of the rod.

Technical Information (PDF)
Architect Files (3DS & DWG)
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Cowboy Coffee Kettle

The Cowboy Coffee Kettle is based on traditional open range fire brewing. Bring water to a boil, add ground coffee and let it steep. Pour slowly and enjoy. Present your enamel kettle on its beechwood trivet.

Available in black and speckled white from Umbra Shift.

Watch creative director Brian Richer and Toronto coffee roaster Sam James talk about the product and preparation technique.

Voong

As North America gauges its comfort with mainstream marijuana use, a growing number of design-minded people are looking for a new aesthetic for pot paraphernalia. Castor’s bong is made from black or white porcelain, glazed on the interior and raw on its outside. The bowl is made from brass and powder coated in textured black or white.

Doubling as a vase, the Voong is demonstrated in scenarios for use when “Home Alone” (as a bong) or “When the Parents Come to Visit” (as a vase).

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Flock – Toronto

Rotisserie Chicken restaurant in downtown Toronto.

Products:
Tank Light

Design: Jenny Francis Design
Photography: Dave Gillespie

Beats By Dre

The Fresnel Pendant in the Beats By Dre offices in Culver City, California.

Products:
Fresnel Pendant Light

Design: Bestor Architecture
Photography: Jasper Sanidad

The Room at Hudson’s Bay

Castor Design were part of the Hudson Bay Company‘s installation for the Spring 2016 display at The Room, a fashion window display operating in Toronto since 1937. Six coloured gels were applied to over 115 florescent bulbs, which were used to create the sculptures, lit through induction.

Contact

CASTOR DESIGN
70 Wade Ave. Unit A
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M6H 1P6

GENERAL INQUIRIES
info@castordesign.ca

SALES
Deirdre Matthews
+1 (416) 629-9502
sales@castordesign.ca

Current Vacancies
Castor Design is seeking individuals to work in product design and development. Please send your CV, portfolio, and completed questionnaire (found here) to info@castordesign.ca with the subject line Job Application: Your Name Here.

SHIPPING & WARRANTY
Warranty info

Marble Slabs

Materials: Carrera Marble, Oak
Hand-carved letters in marble.

Pi is Exactly 3
Historically there have been numerous attempts to square a circle, including an attempt in 1894 to pass legislation in the United States that would definitively and erroneously signify Pi as exactly 3.

Schrödinger’s Cat is Dead
Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. The scenario presents a cat which may be simultaneously both alive and dead, as a result of being linked to a random subatomic event that may or may not occur.

Hail Double Knob Children of Mars
In an attempt to share his controversial findings with colleagues while shielding them from the authorities, Galileo developed a code of anagrams. This was sent to Kepler in confidence, unfortunately Kepler was unable to decode the message correctly and created this garbled text.

A+ Awards, Cowboy Coffee, New Director of Sales

Architizer A+ Awards
Decorative Lighting Winner

We’re happy to announce that our Induction Tube Light won an award in the Decorative Lighting category of Architizer’s A+ Awards. With entries from over 100 countries, the award represents the best of design worldwide. Thanks to those who voted.

You can find out more about the Induction Tube Light here.


Cowboy Coffee Kettle
New product for Umbra Shift

The Cowboy Coffee Kettle is based on traditional open-range fire brewing. Bring water to a boil, add ground coffee and let it steep. Pour slowly and enjoy. Available summer 2015 in black and speckled white here.


Meet our new Director of Sales
Deirdre Matthews joins Castor Design

Deirdre Matthews joined Castor in January of 2015 as Director of Sales. She is co-founder of Aloha Showroom and has a background in fashion sales and distribution. “Whether it be fashion or furniture, my favourite brands are those that look good and feel accessible. Castor is appealing to me because there is strength to it. It’s straight forward design with no fuss and no pretense.”

Deirdre can be reached at 70 Wade Ave in Toronto. To schedule an appointment email deirdre@castordesign.ca or call +1 (416) 629-9502.


New Stockists
Where to find Castor Products
Castor Design products are now carried in the following locations:

Dwell Store – Online
Kaufmann Mercantile – Online
Lumigroup – Montreal & Quebec City
The Modern Shop – Ottawa
Opad – Online
The Store (at Soho House) – Berlin

Find our other online and brick-and-mortar stockists here.


This information comes from the Castor Newsletter. Subscribe here.

Candy Table for “Dinner by Design” – TODO 2015

Castor Design have made a dining table and a pair of benches out of hard candy. Two inches thick, the treatment resembles a glass-top dining table. The set was made during the 2015 Toronto Design Offsite week for the Dinner by Design charity event hosted by GE Monogram and the Toronto Design Exchange, the proceeds going toward Toronto’s Casey House.

Responding to the theme of the event, at the intersection of dinner and design is an edible table. Following this line of logic, Castor Design made the table top out of hard candy, pouring a 150°C/300°F mixture of sugar, water, syrup, and colouring into a mould on top of an 8’ x 3’ powder-coated steel frame. The hard candy is meant to be used, so after pouring it is left to cool and solidify and then finished with a lacquer spray. Prior to its finishing the table would be edible, having a maple flavour.

The dining set was made at Parts & Labour’s catering kitchen where Castor Design’s principals Brian Richer and Kei Ng are part owners. The table was formed in three separate 60L pours, each with a slightly different shade of red, which results in a marbled texture in the candy. Lit from underneath, the table has molten look that is amplified by the back bench’s slow decline to the floor. Glass tableware is set up to catch the light coming through the table.

The table is installed at the Design Exchange from January 19-25th 2015.

For those interested in making a set at home, the recipe is as follows:

Table
120kg sugar
60kg water
30kg syrup
Food colouring as desired

Bench (x1)
40kg sugar
20kg water
10kg syrup
Food colouring as desired

LoversLand

LoversLand reached out to Castor Design to create a bridal salon that stands apart from the ordinary boutique. The front of the space is pared down and sleek, with white walls and piping connecting shelves, lighting, and lace curtained change areas. At the back of the shop is a tented space called The Haven, a by-appointment place for one-on-one fittings and style consultations. While providing privacy for those inside, it also builds a sense of excitement to peer through the seam as you enter your own secret fort. Above the staircase is an installation of bulbs arranged in the letters “XO” and lit through induction. The store is located at 215 Ossington Ave., Toronto.

Candle Holder

Using a beaver-chewed log found outside of Sudbury, ON as a positive, the Castor Lodge Candle Holder is cast from solid aluminum. A black patina has been applied to the casting in order to accentuate the bark’s texture, as well as the tooth marks. The Candle Holder stands approximately 5″ high, and fits a standard 7/8″ diameter dinner candle.

Download PDF
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Castor is French for beaver

Castor Design was established 2009 in Toronto. Led by Brian Richer and Kei Ng, Castor Design is committed to innovation in design. Its work tests the limits of materials, both in terms of aesthetic and structural properties, blurring the line between the practicality of engineering and the indulgence of art.

Castor Design’s products involve thoughtful experimenting with process and techniques, finding new ways to use familiar materials. The Recycled Tube Light earned Castor their reputation for recontextualizing; the attention to narrative is maintained throughout their lines of lighting, furniture, and accessories.

Together, Richer and Ng have designed installations, been showcased in exhibitions and conventions, and have had their products featured in hotels, retail environments, restaurants, and corporate headquarters around the world.

In addition to their product line and installations, the company also works on interiors projects, custom lighting and furniture design, and public art commissions. Castor Design has won awards from the Architizer A+ Awards, A’ Design, Azure Magazine’s AZ Awards, Interior Design Magazine, and from numerous design shows.

None More Black

None More Black
2014 Black Metal Collection
Castor’s Black Metal Collection is inspired by the line from Spinal Tap “There’s something about this that’s so black, it’s like how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.” Nigel Tufnel was commenting on their new black record cover and clearly making a statement about design in general- black is absolute. See an article featuring the entire collection on Design-Milk and shop at the Castor Online store.

AZ AWARDS 2014
LIGHTING DESIGN WINNER
We are happy to announce that our Coil Lamp won the lighting design category at Azure Magazine’s 2014 AZ awards.

You can get more information on the Coil Lamp here.

A’ DESIGN 2014
SILVER A’ DESIGN WINNER
The Coil Lamp also won a silver A’ design award. More info here.

COIL LAMP FEATURED IN WALLPAPER MAGAZINE JULY 2014
CALCIUM OXIDE
BRIAN RICHER SOLO SHOW

Castor’s creative director Brian Richer is currently showcasing a new art series titled ‘Calcium Oxide’ at Gallery House in Toronto. More info here.

Castor Desk

A solid-topped desk with a drawer and a variety of different legs cast in aluminum. Leg options range from an ornate hand-carved spindle to a beaver-gnawed log. All legs are interchangeable.

Download PDF
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P&L Burger – Toronto

Parts & Labour Burger is a Queen Street West restaurant designed and owned by Castor. Launched in 2014, it showcases Parts & Labour’s menu mainstay, and builds upon their reputation for having the best burger in town.

Door Wedge

This product is made of cast bronze, its shape taken from an existing wood wedge. The product’s weight is substantial — it will hold a door back without needing to slide underneath.

Technical Information (PDF)
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White Room for “DX Rise Up”

For their “Rise Up” annual fundraiser gala, Castor wrapped a 3,000 square foot room at the Design Exchange and the furniture inside in heat-shrink wrap designed to protect boats during the winter.

Calcium Oxide

The four geometric sculptures, hand carved out of limestone, are changed on a molecular level. This is due to the thermal decomposition of limestone (CaCO3) in a lime kiln. What appear as objects slowly decomposing is accomplished by heating the material to above 825 °C, a process called calcination. This process drives off the carbon dioxide (CO2); leaving quicklime. The quicklime (CaO) is not stable and, when cooled, will spontaneously react with CO2 from the air until, after enough time, it will be completely converted back to calcium carbonate unless slaked with water to set as lime plaster or lime mortar. This process is called the Lime Cycle. Further exploration of this series converting hand carved tracery window from St. Michael’s Cathedral into calcium oxide and making plaster combined with finely grounded marble dust mixed with water used as a medium to paint. By changing the forms completely from the original pieces of work into flat two dimensional wall pieces.

Captive Munny for “This Is Not A Toy” Exhibition

CAPTIVE MUNNY
Design Exchange (Toronto)
Materials: Carrera Marble

This was part of a show called This is Not a Toy ­ co-curated by Pharrell Williams. A number of artist were given Munny Dolls and asked to do an intervention. The inspiration for this Munny was Michelangelos captives. The Munny was carved in Carrera marble, using hand tools and a pointing machine;­ a tool for duplicating models.

Marble with Fluorescent Tube (Black Marble)

A closer examination of the sculpture reveals that the bulb is emitting light although the pins through which a fluorescent bulb normally receives current remain unconnected, and the tube appears to be unpowered. This effect is achieved through the wireless transmission of electricity. The marble base houses a circuit that safely stores an electric current within a magnetic field, which is then transferred into the fluorescent bulb. While being displayed, the bulb sits in a channel carved into the sculptures marble base. It will continue to emit light if lifted several inches away.

Black Metal Collection at Klaus by Nienkamper

Castor’s Black Metal Collection is inspired by the line from Spinal Tap “There’s something about this that’s so black, it’s like how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.” Nigel Tufnel was commenting on their new black record cover and clearly making a statement about design in general- black is absolute. See an article featuring the entire collection on Design-Milk and shop at the Castor Online store.

In 2013, Castor exhibited its Black Metal Collection at Toronto furniture and lighting retailer Klaus. The Induction Tube Light, the Conic Section Light, the Black Mirrors, and the Tank Bowls were all on display in-store and available for purchase.

Marble with Fluorescent Tube (Large)

A closer examination of the sculpture reveals that the bulb is emitting light although the pins through which a fluorescent bulb normally receives current remain unconnected, and the tube appears to be unpowered. This effect is achieved through the wireless transmission of electricity. The marble base houses a circuit that safely stores an electric current within a magnetic field, which is then transferred into the fluorescent bulb. While being displayed, the bulb sits in a channel carved into the sculptures marble base. It will continue to emit light if lifted several inches away.

Crystal Chandelier – TIFF 2012

TIFF Bell Lightbox (Toronto)
Materials : Brass Chandeliers, copper sulphate, plaster

Each chandelier was wrapped in plaster gauze and submerged in copper sulphate until crystals formed. An accompanying video was also made showing the formation of crystals under a microscope.