Canadian Interiors


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Heavens to Mergatroid

Vancouver designers Laura McKibbon and Kurt Dexel were just being neighbourly when they created this new lighting line.


You can thank the Mergatroid for these elegant new pendant lamps, designed by Laura McKibbon, of cul de sac design, and Kurt Dexel, of Dexel Crafted.

No, I’m not talking about the mysterious character from the Yogi Bear Show catchphrase. And though it sounds like it could be some sort of robot toy, the Mergatroid is not a Transformer, or even a Gobot. It’s a building in East Vancouver that was designed to offer studio spaces for a variety of creative types. Both McKibbon, a ceramicist, and Dexel, a furniture designer who works primarily with wood, have studios in the Mergatroid, which is currently home to a couple of dozen artists, designers and manufacturers. It’s also where the LIGHT pendant lamps were created.

“This collaboration evolved pretty naturally,” say McKibbon. “I was already working on the lamps and it was pretty evident that the walnut and porcelain were a lovely pair. Over our daily coffee/sketch/critique session, this came about pretty quickly.”

The final product combines McKibbon’s hand- and slab-built porcelain with Dexel’s individually hand-pressed and -turned black walnut. The current designs vary between 14 and 16 inches long, but McKibbon says the two are open to working with interior designers to create custom versions. “These could easily be adjusted to fit existing fixtures and would be particularly nice in a dining/hotel setting, I think,” McKibbon says. “The patterns are really open, since they are all hand done, so making changes is fairly easy.”

The two designers have both been busy with other work in recent months, but are looking forward to showing off LIGHT at ICFF in New York this spring. And when time permits, groups of smaller shades and wall sconces are on the drawing table, back at the Mergatroid. CI


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