What’s in a Name?

Light Assembled Lightly

To start, let’s just say that trying to come up with a unique firm name, that captures the brand you want to portray is very hard. To do so using words that,

a) are not used by a design firm already,
b) are easy to spell and pronounce and
c) sound good,

is near impossible.

One of the first decisions that was made by Owner and Principal, Agata Mancini, was to not use her own name (in any form) as a firm name, despite it having the best possibility of being unique. It also would have saved her a tonne of time searching the rather extensive world wide web to see if firms named Bread Studios and Architecture for Humans already exist (Yes. Yes, they do). This decision was made because for the founder, there was always one main issue with using one’s name, in that it assumes that credit for a design belongs to one person (or, perhaps, a few).

The firm name had to be reflective of the team effort, because architecture is not about one person, or two or even three. Architecture is a collaborative venture that requires the cooperation and knowledge of engineers, designers, product suppliers, tradespeople, building officials, other architects and countless others in the design and construction industry. Collaborative and integrated design isn’t inherently obvious in a firm named after oneself, and since this is the approach Assembled Light takes to each new project, it was imperative the name did not take away from that focus.

Once the decision had been made to not go with Agata’s own name, it was a matter of finding something reflective of the firm’s goals and ideals, while not sounding elitist. This is also surprisingly difficult because architecture has some great and fancy words like palimpsest, vernacular, juxtaposition, which architects love and others, well, don’t.

After many hours of searching online, Agata came across a quote by Le Corbusier that had been buried in her architecture school subconscious:
“Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light.”

There is something about the quote, that is striking. It is tangible and intangible at the same time. It seems to strip away all the jargon and theoretical weight often associated with architecture and defines it as something very simple and beautiful. Additionally, the words satisfied all three requirements for a name (see above). And so, Assembled Light, came to be.

The meaning of Assembled Light is two-fold. The first word, Assembled, quite simply refers to the assembly of spaces, materials, systems, program, team members, professionals, etc. It invokes all of the aspects that come together to create or transform a building or space.

The second word, Light, represents sustainability in two ways. It refers to both the sun’s light – whether by taking advantage of daylighting or using the sun’s trajectory for determining program and layout – as well as, the figurative (environmental) weight a building imposes on the earth.
Light assembled lightly.