Allied Maker Turns a Dentist's Office Into a Luminous Showroom

Allied Maker Turns a Dentist's Office Into a Luminous Showroom

By Michele Koh Morollo
Ryden and Lanette Rizzo, the couple behind lighting design and manufacturing studio Allied Maker, showcase their love for materials in a new Tribeca space.

What began in 2012 as a garage woodworking studio in Long Island, New York, has now grown to become Allied Maker, an artisan lighting brand that’s gaining much clout among design lovers who appreciate fine, handcrafted details. Founded by husband and wife Ryden and Lanette Rizzo, who design and manufacture the lights themselves, Allied Maker recently opened its first store in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood in what was formerly a dentist's office. 

Big fans of natural materials such as brass, glass, and hardwoods, the Rizzos have made it their mission is to create highly engineered, simple, elegant lighting solutions that celebrate fine craftsmanship and materials with integrity.

The entrance to Allied Maker's new showroom in Tribeca, New York puts their meticulously crafted lights on immediate display.

Like another famous design couple—Ray and Charles Eames—Ryden and Lanette spend most of their time together in their studio, where they take a hands-on approach, constantly experimenting with new designs and techniques. 

"We don’t really have a boundary between our ‘work life’ and ‘home life’, it’s one and the same. Like the Eames, we love the work, and are in love with each other, so there’s a lot of commonality there," says Lanette.

Lanette and Ryden Rizzo gravitate towards wood, glass, leather, and alabaster, but one of their favorite materials to work with is brass. 

"There is an ease to working with brass for lighting fixtures," says Ryden, who remembers the first brass domes they got—how they had a waxy patina on them from the metal spinning process, and how satisfying it felt to refine the finish. "Brass is able to easily take direction in a way that other metals can’t," he adds.

Allied Maker offers lights with six different brass finishes, which they refer to as "honest patinas." 

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Initially, the couple began working with brass and blackened brass, but then started to obsess about finishes that looked and felt as if they had lived beyond their studio. 

"We thought about what happens to brass when exposed to oil, water, air, and time. Our bronze finishes were a response to that," says Lanette. "It tells a story in the sort of pattern of the surface, and is very forgiving. There is an imperfection, a wabi-sabi, that is so beautiful. We approach all of our patinas this way."

Hear Lanette Rizzo talk about Allied Maker, the creative process, and the studio's material obsession in Dwell's first episode of RM-3 (Raw Materials 3 Ways):

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