For Bec Brittain, designing lighting and products is the logical evolution of a lifelong interest in form, materials, and technology. She grew up surrounded by creative people: her mother is an artist; her father had a woodworking business; and her paternal grandparents (as well as her step-grandfather) were architects. After deciding that her initial interest in studying fashion design would lead to a career that was too trend-focused, Bec studied product design at Parsons before exploring the philosophy of design at NYU and the concepts behind architecture at the Architectural Association. An early job making custom door hardware led Bec to the realization that she loved the process of making things in metal, and a subsequent job as design director for Lindsey Adelman, the noted lighting designer, affirmed Bec’s view that lighting embodied not just the challenges of engineering and technology, but also the playfulness of form and the richness of materials. By 2011, Bec had opened her own studio in Brooklyn and designed the critically-acclaimed SHY light, named for the initials of her grandmother, the architect Sarah Hitchcock Yerkes, one of the first women to receive a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard.
Bec’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Case da Abitare, and Wallpaper magazines, among many others. Her limited edition designs have been shown at Patrick Parrish Gallery and The Future Perfect, and her work was featured in a 2017 exhibition organized by 1stdibs’ Introspective magazine in Milan during the Salone del Mobile. Her clients include today’s top architects and interior designers, and her work appears in commercial and residential projects around the world.