Founding Castor Design in 2006, Kei Ng and Brian Richer have worked on numerous interior projects, custom lighting and furniture design, and public art commissions; the duo has also launched a range of products. French for “beaver,” Castor is known for creating iconic designs with a refreshing sense of irreverence.
Its latest series is Deadstock, inspired by an unusual find. At a defunct lighting factory in Toronto, Ng and Richer discovered a stock of unused steel components in dust-covered boxes that hadn’t been touched for 30 years. “Finding this old stock, produced in Canada by one of the largest lighting manufacturers, represents a part of history,” says Richer. “By reinterpreting the definition of the parts, adding new materials and techniques, we are creating a story for each product.”
The Deadstock series forms a collection of six products, including various pendant lights and lamps. Ng and Richer had to overcome a major obstacle to put the new products into production: a limited supply of found parts. To ensure an ongoing supply, the duo tracked down the original manufacturer to reactivate the 30-year-old machinery that produces these otherwise obsolete parts – reviving, in the process, important tooling techniques disappearing from North America.
Rounding out the collection are a coffee table and side table with a difference: Deadstock’s BMO marble tables are made from Carrara marble straight from the Bank of Montreal Building refurbishment project in Toronto. Carefully selected pieces of the 37-year-old marble have been cut, cleaned and polished to make the tables; solid brass legs and cast aluminum add a striking contrast.
Says Ng, “From an ecological point of view, we are saving raw materials and making the old parts desirable again.” cI