The lighting installation illustrates shows the massive scale of the endangered tree species

How big is a redwood tree? An installation at the 2017 Collective Design Fair offered visitors a unique way to experience the scale of these giant trees. Ambassador is a site-specific installation created by Queens-based Stickbulb and RUX. The 16-foot diameter half circle is made of 146 redwood slats reclaimed from a former water tower on the roof of 200 Vesey Street in Manhattan. The wood was carbon dated to be 300 years old.

Each of the slats was milled and fitted with an LED strip light. They were connected together with tapered brass shims that create the arc shape. A base covered in mirrored panels creates the illusion of a full circle of light.

Ambassador references the original circular shape of the water tower but that wasn’t the only source of inspiration for the piece. There is a reference to John Steinbeck’s writing from the 1960s travelogue ‘Travels with Charley’ where he describes redwood trees as “ambassadors from another time,” Aggressive deforesting of redwoods and sequoias over the decades has left few of the ancient trees left. Older redwoods can grow to become 30-feet in diameter, nearly twice the size represented in the installation.

Stickbulb

How big is a redwood tree? An installation at the 2017 Collective Design Fair offered visitors a unique way to experience the scale of these giant trees. Ambassador is a site-specific installation created by Queens-based Stickbulb and RUX. The 16-foot diameter half circle is made of 146 redwood slats reclaimed from a former water tower on the roof of 200 Vesey Street in Manhattan. The wood was carbon dated to be 300 years old.

Each of the slats was milled and fitted with an LED strip light. They were connected together with tapered brass shims that create the arc shape. A base covered in mirrored panels creates the illusion of a full circle of light.