Archive for the ‘Paper Lights’ Category

“Paper” Lanterns on a Towering Scale
Nov 19, 2018 by dgv

Scott Redman, CEO of Sellen Construction, chose local architect Olson Kundig for his first development project, a design/build venture.  Redman’s goal was to create an environmentally responsible building emphasizing locally sourced materials that could also serve as a canvas for public art.

The newly-constructed 12-story Class A mixed use building is located at 9th & Thomas in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood on the site of Sellen Construction’s former offices, a site that has been in the Sellen family since 1944.

Olson Kundig turned to Resolute to develop and fabricate a gigantic illuminated feature for the lobby.  A cluster of eighteen 12′ tall by 18″ square “paper” lanterns float in the two-story volume. Lantern frames are remarkably delicate square cold rolled steel, precisely welded, ground, then hand-finished with black oxide.  Shade material is an aramid mylar composite.

A nearly 9′ LED core assembly blurred by opal white diffusion lights each lantern.  The 45W 2700K 95 CRI LED array provides 5,145 total source lumens.

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May 17, 2012 by dgv

RESOLUTE embraces new lighting technology; we strive to provide the most pleasing illumination quality possible while remaining respectful of energy efficiencies, user operation costs, and environmental/disposal considerations.

As new illumination technologies adapt to the familiar Edison-base screw-shell format, the ability to intelligently adapt a single fixture to diverse lighting applications increases significantly.

The Edison base screw-shell format is now available in four illumination technologies:

Standard Incandescent

Incandescent lamps provide rich light quality, excellent “comfort” (warm) color rendering and controllability.  Incandescent offers what is generally considered the most aesthetically pleasing light but it is the least energy efficient. Because of the energy penalty, the incandescent lamp is slated to be phased out. Other options follow.

Screw-shell CFL

The screw-shell CFL lamp with integrated ballast offers a relatively long operating life and is energy efficient.  Self-ballasted lamps do not perform to the level that dedicated “four-pin” CFL lamps do, but late generation types like the Sylvania Mini-Twist produce pleasant light efficiently at a good value. There are few dimming options for screw-shell CFL lamps however. Fluorescent lamps contain small amounts of mercury, creating disposal issues.


Halogen is a form of incandescent technology; halogen lamps are 30% more efficient than traditional incandescent lamps. A halogen gas replaces the inert gas in a standard incandescent and the lamp is run at a higher filament temperature. At this high heat, the tungsten burning off the filament combines with the halogen gas and is re-deposited on the filament in a repeating cycle — dramatically extending the life of the filament. This allows for a smaller filament, further improving performance especially in aimed applications. Special quartz glass is used for the “bulb” to withstand the higher heat. Dimming control is straightforward and effective. Lamp life is longer than traditional incandescent but shorter than fluorescent.


New LED technology offers the longest life span and best energy efficiency. LED is mercury free and provides better color rendition than CFL. While more expensive than CFL, it is less prone to flickering.  Achieving good all-around light from LED sources has been challenging. While the technology offers the best balance overall, it has performed poorly in decorative applications. Latest generation screw-shell LED, like the Sylvania Ultra LED A19 Omnidirectional, promises substantial improvement in this area. LED generally offers excellent dimming control, screw-in versions presently dim adequately. LED has the highest up-front cost but long life and energy efficiency offset that over time.

We thought a visual comparison of incandescent, CFL and LED technologies would be interesting.  We photographed three of our fixtures, Box, Markee and Otto, using a standard A-lamp incandescent, a Sylvania Mini Twist and a Sylvania Ultra LED A19 Omnidirectional.  Other conditions remained constant.

Top to bottom: Box – Imago shade, Markee – aramid shade, Otto – opal white glass.
Left to right: Incandescent, CFL, LED.

incandescent cfl led
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Oct 7, 2011 by dgv


Gelateria Pasticceria Caffe – Seattle, Washington

Owner: Maria Coassin

Aura pendants, Otto 2 pendants in custom “tea” glass with bronze anodized aluminum, Utility ADA wall sconces in custom “tea” glass with bronze anodized aluminum.

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Oct 19, 2010 by dgv
My first blog on the new website. Oh boy. So much to cover, where do I start? I suppose starting at the beginning would be the right place…
2010 has been a re-set opportunity for Resolute. Rather than curse the economic collapse, we embraced it and took advantage of the relative calm to tend to the many things we had neglected during the boom years. This new (up to date) website represents the tiny tip of that iceberg of neglect.
In 2009 we gave up (for now) on our dream to build ourselves an intensely innovative, socially, environmentally and economically responsible new home after two years of passionate effort. We licked our wounds for a minute, got up off the floor, shut our glass shop and moved the showroom, development and production into a new leased space.
This year we reorganized our catalog products and our custom contract methodologies. We rationalized production and re-documented everything. What was Resolute four or five years ago has evolved significantly but we were too busy (and distracted) over that period to communicate much of how we have changed.
I will attempt to share a little insight into our evolution, our approach and our intentions through the new device of this blog. We will see how it goes.
Starting at the beginning with Paper Lights…
Resolute began with PAPER LIGHTS. Resolute emerged as the product brand of a consulting design firm. As a design firm we did all the usual range of product design and environmental design from consumer products to medical devices to retail shop concepts. Instead of watching our clients choose the least interesting of the three options we would typically present to them, we desperately wanted to make our own decisions. We were designers, we believed that the products were the most important thing and that everything just sort of lined up to support that. We were naive in the extreme! Naive but not witless. We quickly realized what we didn’t know about all the mysterious other parts of the business and solicited helpful advice from “experts” in the various fields. We learned quickly “how things are done” and gathered a mighty heap of conflicting and counterproductive truths. We were foolish. We got lost in the babel. Dazed and confused, we wandered off the usual paths to success, out of earshot, out on our own. The yammering advice faded away and we started to think more like designers again. We eventually figured out “our way”. After 20 years of Resolute in business we have worked out how to line everything else up to support the products and their good intentions – at least to the point it makes us happy – back to where we thought we were starting with Paper Lights in the beginning.
Markee in studio
In 1985 BRENT MARKEE was working for Smart Design in New York. He designed a paper object for an office gift exchange. This object provided the kernel of an idea that became a “design” product which he made himself and sold through an emerging new breed of design retailer. Sointu and Turpan Sanders were his first clients. Brent’s “factory” was a piece of plywood brought out in the evening from under his bed in a shared loft space. It wasn’t quite so simple as a spool of wire, a pair of pliers, sheets of paper and a knife. Components were sourced from sophisticated vendors but they came together on the sheet of plywood. In many ways this still represents the perfect vision for Resolute production. The concept and its execution were and are one.
The product was MARKEE. Resolute introduced a developed version of Markee in the initial Resolute product line and delivered it symbolically, our first product, to our first customer on the last day of 1989. We are offering MARKEE 20/25 as a special anniversary edition this year. We feel the revised 2010 product returns to the sublime perfection of the original.
Like the original model, the MARKEE 20/25 has a wire base although this is now silver brazed, heavy guage stainless steel. The shade remains as it has been through Markee’s Resolute production, made out of calendared aramid fiber. This shade material provided the cornerstone of our initial collection. When we were designing our new product group toward the end of the ’80’s, everything in the lighting world was “high tech”, black, low-volt halogen. Perhaps, not so different from the mania now for LED and re-purposed rubbish. We wanted something that was clearly different from what the market was awash in. We felt a cozy glow, much like that from Naguchi’s fabulous Akari lamps, would set us apart (and we personally enjoyed the feeling). However, we added a mission of providing more robust performance and the challenge of developing designs that we could produce without either a skilled craft tradition, as utilized by the Akari lamps, or an established industrial infrastructure.
Lola in studio
While still working in New York, Brent also made a wall variation of his Markee for Lola, a new, hip restaurant near Smart Design. LOLA was also part of the initial Resolute line. For 2010 we have integrated electronic fluorescent options, including dimming, and added a larger version, LOLA AMOR, as a regular catalog offering. We’ve done many sizes of Lola over the years. When we sold through retailers a small version called Lolita was one of our top selling products. Lola is a versatile product equally comfortable in residential, hospitality or corporate settings.
Harold in studio
Lola was complimented by HAROLD in the initial Resolute collection. Harold has also been produced in several sizes over the years and this year we are adding a large version to the regular catalog, HAROLD Sr.
The first few years were erratic for Resolute. The consulting design studio distracted us from properly marketing (or doing much marketing at all). We didn’t do a trade show until 1992. Our first show was ICFF in New York.
CHAPEAU was introduced at that show. Its enticing beauty helped us win Best New Product and the resulting press exposure helped get Resolute rolling. A couple years later we were finally out of consulting design and concentrated solely on Resolute. Too many trade shows and hundreds of re-selling customers followed.
Chapeau in studio
Like all the initial Resolute collection, Chapeau was conceived as an incandescent fixture. The design was built around a particular, very compact, ceramic, back to back double lamp holder. Two lamps being critical to balanced light output. This made Chapeau both difficult to export and problematic for conversion to fluorescent when the market moved there. As with Lola and Harold, we’ve done many sizes of Chapeau for projects over the years, sometimes as large as 4’ feet long but most frequently in versions just a little bigger to accommodate fluorescent. For 2010 we have tweaked the size of the catalog CHAPEAU, now CHAPEAU 29, to suit fluorescent as the first option. Again, electronic fluorescent dimming is available. Chapeau is an outstanding over table fixture.
The superior performance of our shade material made our fixtures suitable for heavy commercial use and we found more and more of our work going into the contract sector. Soon the balance of work tipped from regular catalog product to contract variations and custom designs. We started doing national roll-outs and major hotels. This was a horrible fit with the retail distribution system we had built up through the trade show circuit. Like Napoleon turned back at Moscow, we began the long hard retreat to focussed contract distribution.
Some of our very, very successful retail products like Brent’s Laurel and Brioche were lost in the transition. Others, like SHANG-TU were able to morph into new contract lives. Shang-Tu was initially developed as part of a collection of exotic diminutive decorative lights, vaguely inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, called CARAVAN (Shang-Tu being the eastern end of the Silk Road). From this gallery like start, Shang-Tu moved on to hotels, restaurants and eventually into to hundreds of Starbucks stores. For 2010 we have shifted the SHANG-TU product group to a fluorescent first stance.
Shang-Tu CFL wallShang-Tu large pendant
Twenty years later, PAPER LIGHTS are alive and well! While, by no means still the commercial heart of our business Paper Lights do remain our spiritual center. MARKEE 20/25 celebrates everything that was and continues to be right about the first idea. While we don’t expect to sell thousands into retail distribution as we once did, the product remains valid even if we only sell a few. Not every product (and not every company) exists solely for commerce.
In 2003 Resolute mounted a retrospective show of Brent Markee’s work to that point entitled “Paper Trails”. If you are interested, here are links to pdf show documentation.
– Douglas Varey
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