ekoa® is where elegance and engineering converge. ekoa® is a natural fiber composite that has been called “the wonder material that could help save the rainforest.”

At Lingrove, Inc., where ekoa® is produced, Senior Design Engineer Troy Stevens is bringing ekoa® to life in some creative ways.

While some sustainable products are static, Troy pairs ekoa® with technology to create the dynamic Ekoa® Interactive.

Take, for example, the Lingrove sign – a veritable rainbow light show. This bit of magic is created as Troy utilizes a sheer version of ekoa® paired with lighting via microprocessors which he programs himself.

(See the embedded video for a first-hand view of Troy’s innovative handiwork.)

Troy’s passion for building and creating has been the story of his life.

“Since I was a kid, I was always making things,” said Troy. “I liked to tinker and take things apart. I loved the process of making the Legos, but not playing with them,” he laughs.

But it wasn’t a case of all work and no play. For Troy, work was play. His love of building only increased with age. In high school, Troy was hired by the general contractor to renovate his family’s home, working as the contractor’s apprentice. Eventually, Troy became a skilled carpenter and electrician. He left his apprenticeship and went into business for himself renovating high-end homes on the Peninsula, honing his craftsmanship throughout his early career. Throughout his twenties, he worked full-time as a carpenter and went to school at night.

“My years as a carpenter formed the foundation to how I solve problems as a project engineer,” Troy reflects.

In his thirties, Troy returned to college full-time and earned an engineering degree with an emphasis on product design and development. While in school, he met Joe Luttwak who would become the CEO of Lingrove, Inc.

“I had all these hands-on skills, so when Joe started his first company— Blackbird Guitars—he asked me to be his partner.” Troy design-engineered all the guitars for Blackbird Guitars, and the geometry for the first guitars came from his computer. “At first, people didn’t like the sound of carbon fiber guitars,” Troy remembers.

But eventually, the new sound caught on and people liked the new guitars—not in spite of the different sound—but because of it. Later, when Joe founded Lingrove, Inc., Troy found himself leading product explorations once again. 

“I like making things and solving problems,” Troy said. “Let’s figure out how the puzzle pieces work and how to meet the technical challenges.” He continues, “I’m a generalist who has been fascinated with building things my whole life. I’m a good fit here (at Lingrove).”

When Troy isn’t building cool new stuff for Lingrove, he is—you guessed it—building cool new stuff in his private life. He just rebuilt his cabin on the Russian River following a fire. And for fun, he builds racing drones. Building is in his bones.

His passion and talent result in creations that are bold, beautiful, innovative, and sustainable. Keep an eye on Troy’s work, as there are more surprises ahead at Lingrove.