05/23/13

A Wanted Design Roundup

HP Graphic Arts

The third year of Wanted Design, a curated exhibition of national and international design installations, workshops, and discussions, kicked off on Friday, May 17, in New York. Adroyt was fortunate to take part in a first-look bloggers’ tour with HP and Global Lighting, for a glimpse of the space before most—and for that we are grateful. We heard the opening event later that evening generated thousands of RSVPs and a line at the door that curled around the block from 11th Avenue, spilling over onto 28th Street!

Following are some of the items we saw on our tour, and then a few extras that caught our eye.

HP Graphic Arts

The tour began with a look at HP’s large-format digital printing. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that HP is doing some great things its with large-scale commercial capabilities. The company’s machines can print on nearly anything, from vinyl to paper to magnets to latex wall coverings. In addition to deeply saturated colors hues, the products had a lush, textural hand.

HP Digital Arts

Global Lighting also served as the lighting sponsor for Wanted Design, and had several of its fixtures installed throughout the Terminal Stores.

LZF's Mini Mikado from Global Lighting

Secto from Global Lighting

Jacco Maris's Outsider from Global Lighting

We were also particularly fond of the collection of student work from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Risk and Certainty in Uncertain Times, curated by the school’s president John Maeda.

Risk and Certainty in Uncertain Times

We fell for the whimsy of this piece:

The Granoff Sofa by Scot Bailey, Taylor McKenzie-Veal, Ian Stell, and Yumi Yoshida

It has a “Holly Golightly” feel to it, don’t you think?

The Pixel Chair by Vivian Chiu

This chair is made of laminated wooden bricks for a tromp l’oeil effect. We think it could spark an interesting conversation about the way many of us spend our days: seated and staring at pixel after pixel after pixel.

All photos by Adroyt

03/13/13

On Resonance, Brilliance and Being Adroyt

Hi everyone; Saxon here! I have a bit of news today: adroyt will soon be moving into a new era. I’ve been bringing a new team together during the past three months, and as I’ve been composing the puzzle, the word “resonance” keeps coming up for me. The dictionary defines the non-technical meanings of the word as the deep, full, and reverberating quality of a sound, and/or the ability to evoke or suggest images, memories and emotions. My aim as I have been reorganizing is to create resonance with the new talent I am bringing on board. You’ll be meeting the new team as they attend events and client meetings with me, and share their thoughts on this blog in the weeks to come. It’s going to feel great to have a mix of intelligent voices here after the pause adroyt has experienced as 2012 segued to 2013.

The lull is definitely over as trade-show madness ramps up during the next two months so I thought I’d put my tweeting muscles to the test in preparation for the melee by joining some of my favorite blogging stars, design writers and editors, and publicists for an elegantly orchestrated event hosted by the team at Miele USA last week. They tantalized our taste buds with savory flavors in the Miele Gallery, and in the Poggenpohl and Hastings Tile and Bath showrooms, and it was wonderful to see Tamara Matthews Stephenson because our paths had not crossed in a while. I was also very excited to finally get to meet Sarah Sarna, and felt fortunate to be sitting next to Architizer’s editor-in-chief Jenna McKnight during our first course of delectable fare. Author Linda O’Keeffe spoke to us about the lordly color white (yes, consensus says, it is indeed a color) during the occasion, dubbed “Simply Brilliant.”

The afternoon marked the launch of Miele’s Brilliant White Plus collection of appliances.

Linda O'Keeffe goes beyond the pale!

You can see our twitter stream by searching the hashtag #MieleBWP, and learn about Linda’s take on white by perusing her book Brilliant: White in Design. The former editor of Metropolitan Home gave us lots to think about as we convened in the gleaming monochromatic studio, the pale fixtures and cabinetry surrounding us luminous in spite of the gloomy day beyond the windows. “Design begins and ends with the color white,” she noted, deeming its chalky hues “radiant, pure, seductive, lucid, harmonious, neutral, thoughtful” and “natural” in her book. It was a resonant way to spend a few hours as Mother Nature tried to decide whether to upstage the white theme with her version of a crystalline event as the day wore on.

Segueing back to that word, and one of the definitions of it opening this post: as the new adroyt team moves into progressive efforts for our firm and for clients in the coming months, we’ll be talking about concepts like resonance. As a musical example of our take on the word, I leave you today with Beck’s Paper Tiger. Though it may seem to have little to do with design or new media, it’s a perfect example of our philosophy because the depth reverberating from the rock song is a result of the symphonic elements in the musical mix. How lacking the song would be without the sonorous quality of these classical elements, no? There are similar (and surprising) aspects to creating and maintaining preeminent online platforms for clients; that’s been our mantra since the beginning and it deepens even further as we move agilely into what is turning out to be a very interesting year so far.

 

Thanks to our friends at White Good for including adroyt in last week’s celebration of pale splendor, and I look forward to seeing many of our social media buddies as they hit New York City for the Architectural Digest Home Design Show  and #BlogTourNYC next week!

07/24/12

Martin Brudnizki’s Guide to London 2012 Olympic Dining

The courtyard of Soho Beach House, Cecconi's is a Tuscan treat in South Beach.

It’s clever pitch time on adroyt again. The London-based public relations firm Camron sent us this pitch featuring restaurants in London designed by their client Martin Brudnizki. The 2012 Olympic Games begin on Friday, giving the pitch a convenient news hook. Adroyt had lunch with Martin during Design Miami/ Art Basel Miami Beach 2010 when he debuted his designs for the Soho Beach House in Miami Beach. We sat in the property’s courtyard amongst the graceful trees and dined in Cecconi’s, an Italian restaurant, which he designed as well. “I set out to create a place that would exude both grit and glamour,” said the Brit. “Nick [Jones]’ vision for the Soho Beach House was relaxing and informal, and I wanted there to be a timeless appeal to the design so I looked to the colonial roots of the club for the underpinning of my plan.”

The colonial roots of which he speaks lie in the building’s past as the Art Deco Sovereign Hotel. In order to achieve the calm he had in mind, he considered every detail, down to the pavers in the courtyard, which are new but look as if they were salvaged from a quaint countryside piazza in Tuscany. “Because this is one of those special places in the world where someone might want to check in and not leave until their stay in Miami is over, I paid special attention to materials and to comfort,” Brudnizki said.

And back to now, here’s his Olympic-inspired guide to London dining:

34

34: 34 Grosvenor Square, W1K 2HD

Situated around the corner from its sister restaurant, Scott’s, 34 is located just off Grosvenor Square. Part of Caprice Holdings, the design of this steakhouse took inspiration from the Edwardian up to the Art Deco period. Showcasing a bespoke charcoal grill imported from Argentina, the 100-cover restaurant was created to be luxurious yet informal, with aged and rustic materials exuding a richness and quality in keeping with the Caprice brand.

Côte

Côte: Charlotte Street, W1T 1RE

Côte is the modern interpretation of a classical French bistro. Created by Andy Bassadone, Chris Benians and Marcus Cloud, each site houses strong feature elements such as timber and cement tiled floors, mirrors on the walls and dispense bars. To date, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio has designed 31 units throughout the UK, this one being the most recent.

The Mount Street Deli

The Mount Street Deli: Mayfair, W1K 2TG

Martin Brudnizki Design Studio aimed to bring a combination of 20th century charm and modern sophistication to the heart of Mayfair with the design of Mount Street Deli – Caprice Holdings’ first gourmet retail concept. The interior was designed to reflect the history of the building, which dates to the early 1900s. The Studio retained key architectural features such as original paneling, architrave and skirting details in homage to the prestigious character of a street renowned for the highest quality in retailing.

Jamie's Italian Covent Garden

Jamie’s Italian Covent Garden

Martin Brudnizki has worked with Jamie Oliver and his team since 2007 to create numerous Jamie’s Italian restaurants within the UK and internationally. Conceived as an informal ‘neighborhood’ restaurant focused on honest, well-sourced food at reasonable prices, the ‘theatre’ of food plays a significant role as each site houses an open kitchen, antipasti bar and pasta making area on display. The Studio’s approach to the design of these restaurants is based on the use of natural materials and found objects to create spaces, which are uncontrived and contemporary.

Pizza East

Pizza East: Portobello

Martin Brudnizki Design Studio worked with Nick Jones to create his second Pizza East restaurant; this time located on Portobello Road in Notting Hill. Consistent with the informal feel of Pizza East Shoreditch, vintage items such as the tin ceiling, glazed tiles, reclaimed timber paneling and a variety of found tables and chairs were sourced from New York. The result is a buzzy atmosphere in line with the lively neighborhood surroundings.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Gourmet Burger Kitchen: Westfield Stratford

The fourth restaurant to be designed for the GBK team was also the biggest – accommodating 200 covers and a separate satellite balcony seating area overlooking the food court at the new Westfield Stratford, minutes away from the Olympic Stadium. The theme was simple and understated, employing natural materials ranging from reclaimed oak to porcelain tiles, green and yellow leather upholstery to metal pendants and wall lights. To create a sense of ‘theatre’ and to lure passing shoppers, an open kitchen with a window through to the mall outside was specially designed.

Just as there are Olympic competitions of all persuasions, it seems there is an equally wide choice of award-winning Martin Brudnizki-designed dining venues; London is the place to be, brimming with opportunities for excellence in performance and indulgence. At which table would you like to sit?

Rumor has it our own Saxon Henry has an article debuting in Interiors Magazine next week. We’ll be sure to post a link to the clip so check back in!

04/19/12

First and Foremost: Michael Bruno Is Honored

As a company investing great amounts of time and resources creating and maintaining digital platforms for design and architecture clients, we at adroyt hold a handful of visionaries in high esteem. Michael Bruno, who launched 1stdibs in 2001, falls solidly within this category. He was early in the digital design game, and he was intelligent in building his presence on the World Wide Web. All things virtual have certainly changed since he founded the site and he’s kept apace, embracing new dynamics as they have emerged.

Michael Bruno

This is why we weren’t surprised when Bruno was tapped to receive Soane Foundation Honours at the organization’s Innovators Gala on April 24. The award is being given in recognition of Bruno’s achievements in transforming the way antiques and collectibles are sourced and sold internationally.

From the Sir John Soane Museum: Bank of England

“I am delighted to receive such an important award,” Bruno remarks. “The Sir John Soane’s Museum is like no other. I remember visiting just last year and the experience still resonates with me. It’s rare to find a hidden gem like this where the spirit of the owner still lives. Everyone should experience the thrill of being in these rooms and communing with the genius that created such a wondrous space. I feel very honored.”

 

The genius Bruno mentions is Sir John Soane, R.A., an English architect who bequeathed his home and the extraordinary collections within it to the U.K. to become the museum housing the Foundation. Other honorees this year include Elizabeth Diller, Richard Scofidio and Charles Renfro of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the firm responsible for the design of one of our favorite outdoor experiences—the High Line on the west side of Manhattan. We congratulate them and Michael Bruno for the recognition they’re receiving next week!

04/3/12

Into the Archives: Giulio Cappellini for Poltrona Frau

Having had the opportunity to cover the design world for nearly two decades, we at adroyt have racked up quite a queue of quality content we feel is well worth sharing. We’ve been combing the archives to find those we’ve already covered who are back in the news. Today we’re catching up with Guilio Cappellini, whom we had the pleasure of meeting when the Miami Poltrona Frau group brought the Cappellini brand to the tropical town. The savvy group opened a Cappellini flagship showroom within their Miami Design District space in 2009, bringing Cappellini himself to the event. We had the opportunity to interview the design visionary and he graciously granted us the above photo op, a picture we treasure to this day. When the Poltrona Frau group built an artful 27,000-square-foot showroom around the corner from the prior location last year, they asked the Italian maestro to design it, and, lucky for the Miami design scene, he said yes.

In the earlier interview, we asked Mr. Cappellini how he manages to stay on the leading edge of contemporary Italian design. His answers follow what he had to say about his designs for the new showroom, which adroyt visited during Art Basel Miami Beach/Design Miami week last December:

ADROYT: Tell me about your inspiration for the design of the new showroom.

GC: It was the light and warm colors of the city, especially the fuchsia walls, which echo some of the colors seen at the airport—the first color I noticed when I came to Miami. Also, the exteriors of the Art Deco buildings in town inspired me. Cappellini uses different colors for its flagship showrooms in each city by binding to the history, culture and local traditions of the city. This was my focus in Miami with the Poltrona Frau showroom.

ADROYT: What do you like most about the new showroom?

GC: I like the big, open spaces—a warm space that invites you to rest, like a luxury lounge in which to spend time not just a store to visit and then quickly leave.

ADROYT: Your very name is synonymous with avant-garde Italian design: what is it about you that you believe has set you apart in the design world?

GC: The continuous desire to innovate, risk and search for new and interesting creative people in the world. I have always had this coherent approach whilst thinking that there are always more new things to do in the design sector.

ADROYT: As you scout and nourish new design talent, what do you look for in the beginning that proves there’s a kernel of genius in the person’s designs?

GC: It is important to understand if there are signs of research, of great personal and original innovation in a young designer, and if they are ready to question themselves, as making a product is something serious.

ADROYT: You have said that one of your responsibilities is to make designers dream. How do you foster this level of synergy with the designers with whom you collaborate?

GC: It is important to find a perfect feeling between myself and the designer. You can discuss, try and work for a long period of time on a project with the aim of creating a good product only if you have the right harmony.

ADROYT: Why do you think Miami has become a U.S. epicenter for Italian design?

GC: I think that Miami is a contemporary city, open to different cultures and therefore completely open to new stimulus in art and design.

ADROYT: How have you seen Italian design change over the course of your career?

GC: From the 1950s to the 1980s, Italian design has been characterized by strong stylistic and functional innovation. It seems that in the last few years many companies have concentrated more on presenting lifestyle than extraordinary products, something that I think should be the true vocation of a brand.

ADROYT: You have said that you work to nurture long-sellers rather than bestsellers when you work with designers. Can you give me a few examples of your long sellers?

GC: Most definitely the Mr. Bugatti chairs by François Azambourg and the Lotus seating collection by Jasper Morrison because they are complex, innovative and honest products.

ADROYT:  What do you love most about what you do?

GC: What I most like is to think that there is always so much yet to do in design. It is not true that everything has already been done.

ADROYT: If you could change anything about your profession, what would it be?

GC: I would try and make products that are closer to the public’s requirements, and that can also make them dream.

ADROYT: What is the most exciting thing you’ve done in your work during the past several years?

GC: Definitely having had the possibility to meet and collaborate with fantastic people such as Achille Castiglioni, Shiro Kuramata, Jasper Morrison and many others. Exchanging ideas with these people has given me the possibility to really grow from a cultural point of view.

ADROYT: When you were a child, were there signs that you would be involved in some type of design? How did your creativity show itself at an early age?

GC: I have always been curious and I have always liked playing with forms and colors, being attracted most of all by simplicity, in a sophisticated and not banal way. My dream has always been to create fascinating and innovative objects.

Next up, we’ll bring you some behind-the-scenes reporting on MAD’s Home Front series, curated and moderated by Surface Magazine’s Dan Rubinsten. The Museum of Arts and Design in NYC hosts the series, which will bring Alex Munstonen, Christopher K. Ho, Chaire Warner, Parrish/Rash, Sam Vinz, Snarkitecture, Temperature 2012 and Volume Gallery to the fore. Is your blood pumping like ours is?

 

10/25/11

Clodagh: Home as an Expression of Grace

In her first book Total Design: Contemplate, Cleanse, Clarify and Create Your Personal Spaces, Clodagh introduced her sensually rich take on aesthetics to a broader audience than she had previously had. Chapters in the book include “The Senses and Physical Space,” “The Power of Nostalgia,” The Music of Solitude: Creativity, Privacy and Retreat,” and “Fantasy Spaces: Shaping the Wish”; and it begins, “If we were merely simple creatures, requiring nothing more from our homes than a shelter from the elements and a place to eat and sleep, we would be comfortable with very little: perhaps a room with a fire in one corner, a faucet in the other, and a mound of leaves to curl up on at night. As sentient, social, spiritual beings, however, we need rooms that allow us to think and to play, to reflect and to entertain friends, to bathe and to prepare meals. To truly support us, a home has to stretch beyond its material properties and sustain our complex human needs.”

Clodagh followed this 2001 publication with a sumptuous book titled Your Home, Your Sanctuary, which is filled with beautiful photography by her husband Daniel Aubry. The pages hold a visual feast of elemental materials intermingled in sophisticated ways and a depth of emotion that matches the lushness of the photography perfectly. Again, the talented designer brings humanity into the mix with chapter and page headlines that speak of talking, playing, lounging, eating, crying, laughing and kissing. “The key to planning a common room is flexibility,” she points out, adding, “The room should contain a harmonious balance of all the five elements: earth (stone or concrete), water (if you don’t have a water view, artwork representing water will do), fire (a fireplace), wood (furniture or flooring), and metal (a lamp).”

The images of the rooms she has created are breathless and moody, but never in an emotionally dark way. She speaks of indulgences and the photography speaks of her innate ability to forge satisfying layers of beauty and meaning. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you likely saw my mentions of an event Clodagh held at her Manhattan studio last week, which brought two indulgences to life: chocolate and flowers. Lisa Reinhardt and Katie Hess brought their products to Clodagh’s headquarters for “Sustainable Happiness and How to Save the World with Chocolate and Flowers.” It was a luscious evening of savoring cocoa and being lavished with plumes of floral spray. If you don’t know Lotus Wei or Wei of Chocolate, you’re missing out on the opportunity to experience deliciousness.

I came away from the evening realizing that Clodagh is one of the few people I’ve met in quite a while who puts her beliefs where her reputation is! Since no one knows quite as well as she does how to create such wonderfully peaceful environments in which to live, I felt featuring her and the event would be the perfect post for today’s #LetsBlogOff, the subject of which is “What is home?” To see our LBO compatriots chiming in on this theme, the full roster is here.

To see my other Let’s Blog Off post of the day, visit The Road to Promise, where the journey continues…

07/12/11

Life’s a Beach and Then You Design

It’s #TravelTuesday on adroyt and though we didn’t make it to Basel, Switzerland, for Design Miami/ Basel this year, we thought we’d find a delightful design kernel to showcase here—and it just happens to be one that includes some good economic news! The fair’s organizers saw significant increases in sales and attendance for the sixth edition of the Miami show’s European counterpart. Within the first minutes of opening, Johnson Trading Gallery sold two cast bronze tables at $20,000 each to a US collector, a chair for $35,000, a pair of tables went for $28,000 and a vessel sold for $18,000—all from the gallery’s solo show dedicated to Max Lamb.

I first saw Lamb’s furniture at Design Miami/ several years ago, in the Johnson Trading Gallery booth then as well. His earthy take on design was immediately appealing to me. I wondered how he’d developed such an elemental style so I asked him. His answers illustrate that his aesthetic took root in his very first workshop: Mother Nature!

Max, as a boy, exercising his design mind…

“My earliest memory of ‘making things’ took place on the beach in Cornwall where I was born,” he explains. “Cornwall is a beautiful county in the extreme southwest of England that is surrounded by incredible beaches, cliffs and coves. Supposedly, my first visit to a beach was when I was just two days old, so I started young! The Cornish beaches were my playgrounds during the summer and the winter. Summer was good because the weather was warm and I could play in the sand free of clothes, but winter was my favorite time of year because the beaches were empty—they became my own. My favorite and most absorbing activity was to build objects using the wet sand itself: tunnels I could almost crawl into, holes I could hide in, boats I could sit in and pretend to sail, or a bench I could sit on with my sister. I was sculpting sand into objects that would take hours to make and then wash away with the tide in minutes. I was just playing, having fun, but more importantly with regard my future, I was using my hands to build objects both from memory and imagination. Little did I know that Porthluny, the same beach on which I spent my childhood, would become my ‘workshop’ for my Pewter Stool project over two decades later.”

Max the man is still beachside designing (Photos/Max and Jane Lamb)

Paul Johnson, who owns Johnson Trading, has brought Lamb’s work to a highly sophisticated audience during the past several years. He describes how he curated the work for the show this year: “We divided Max’s latest projects into two categories: Studio Work and Field Work. His studio work included the Bronze Poly pieces, which he carved from polystyrene blocks in his studio and then cast in bronze. His fieldwork included China Granite Project II, a series resulting from Max visiting a quarry in the remote countryside of Mainland China in order to create stone furniture pieces. The outcome is a collection of works that were designed by Max and led by his vision, though the process often involved the assistance of the quarry workers, including stonecutters and polishers, who helped him to achieve his goal. Max is a designer who loves materials and works with them to find their intrinsic beauty and strengths.”

Johnson Trading Gallery’s director Erika Oman notes that they were quite happy with the financial rewards these strengths brought them. “Design Miami/ Basel was a very strong show for us,” she remarked. “Not only did we sell several of Max’s new China Granite and Bronze Poly pieces, we received a few commissions. The design market seems to be coming back with both old and new buyers ready to purchase contemporary pieces.”

It’s interesting how someone like Max, who has such a keen sense of design genius, showed signs of it early and strongly, and it’s visionaries like him who make us revel in the fact that we are a design-centric social media company with access to brilliant minds. If you don’t know of Paul Johnson and you love cutting-edge design, study the trajectory of his career as a curator, patron and gallerist. You’ll learn what it means to be a true trendsetter and tastemaker.

Are you ready for the Rolling Stones tomorrow? We’ll bring them to you (social media style)!

06/12/11

Fixture Fixation: American Standard

Gary Uhl has a sensitive finger on the trending pulse of the bathroom fixture business. As a leader of the savvy design team at American Standard, he brings stylish verve to the insights emerging from an industry known for conservatism. Toilets may not elicit thoughts of bold initiatives and fundamental societal shifts, but there’s real change brewing behind that WC door.

The team at adroyt was invited this week to participate in a tour of the company’s headquarters in Piscataway, New Jersey by Nora DePalma of O’Reilly/DePalma, their public relations firm. Our inside look behind the scenes of the manufacturer’s creative process was quite interesting, surprisingly intriguing, and, yes, often humorous. The stories behind the fixtures that are an integral (and intimate) part of our everyday lives are fascinating in their depth of implication.

As the tour began, Gary pontificated about the changing perception of luxury in the home, with respect to bathroom location. Whereas recently the aspiration was simply to have an equal number of bathrooms as bedrooms in the residence, they are now being combined en suite, so that every bedroom has its own private bathroom. With much of recent construction consisting of remodeling and retrofitting within existing and perhaps limited areas, there’s a need for smaller fixture footprints and a sense of spaciousness. American Standard is meeting this need by developing more compact designs that deliver high function and style all the while maintaining a comfortable ambience in tight quarters. Grace under pressure, you might say!

American Standard has been around for over 130 years but the company is committed to staying on the forefront of technical innovation, resource conservation, and stylish interpretation. Our exploration of their research and development facility bears this out in spades; we’ll never look at a toilet the same way ever again. Our thanks to the passionate and knowledgable team at American Standard for the enlightenment and to our host Nora DePalma for the keys to the metaphorical executive washroom!

To see posts by our esteemed colleagues, click on the links below:

Kitchen and Residential Design by Paul Anater

Kitchen Design Notes by Laurie Burke

Andie Day’s Lifestyle Blog

Building Moxie by JB Bartkowiak

Our sister site Roaming By Design

05/23/11

Cleto Munari at GD Cucine: A Mutable Feast

Inner visions: Mark Strand “Man and Camel” table.

One of the visually (and gastronomically) satisfying events we attended last week in New York City during ICFF’s design feast was an exhibition of Cleto Munari’s new Furnishings Collection. The pieces are showcased in the brand new GD Cucine showroom at 227 West 17th Street, on both levels of the 8000 sq. ft. space. Tantalizing aromas tempted as professional chefs prepared a delectable risotto for the long line of eager gallery-goers flanking the sleek kitchens displayed in the Chelsea showroom.

Munari has continued his explorations of contemporary design through diverse collaborations with architects, poets, artists, and fellow designers. The resulting tables, cabinets, rugs, benches, and accessories are a colorful and bold celebration of their camaraderie and affinity for “an ideal of beauty.” In his words, “”My story is a simple one, of friendship with those who have shared my love of art, design poetry, of working and “making” things in these fascinating, ineffable fields.”

Paladino’s table. 

Munari has joined with the poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Mark Strand, architects Alessandro Mendini and Mario Botta, and artists Mimmo Paladino and Sandro Chia, along with several others, in digging a little deeper into an intensely personal evocation of form as furnishings. Our photography of that evening seeks to discover these insightful moments: surprises and juxtapositions adding a layer of experience to the act of vision.

Munari rising: Palafitte (Pilings) table.

Sandro Chia’s table.

Stop by again tomorrow where we will explore the color purple (it’s #LetsBlogOff time again)!

05/14/11

Are You A Hybrid? Getting MAD

As the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) continued to build toward its opening Saturday at the Javits Center, we made our way on the B train last night to MAD (Museum of Arts and Design). The exhibit “Are You A Hybrid?”, curated by and featuring renowned designer Stephen Burks, was opening at the landmark institution on bustling Columbus Circle.

The exhibit’s collection examines the influences and expression of the developing world on contemporary design. Brooklyn-based Burks and his studio Readymade Projects have made this cultural fusion a signature strategy in their execution of individual and collaborative work. A celebration of peers and progenitors, the show features the visions of icons such as the Eames’, Noguchi, and Girard along with Urquiola, Jongerius, and certainly Burks himself.

Alongside the modern industrial evocations are photographs and objects by artists which document the work unfolding on the edge of the often-inaccessible edges of the developed world. They provide a referential context to the pluralistic concepts explored in this colorful and bold showing. The crowd was thoroughly enjoying themselves – smiles were equally on display!