Spin Ceramics US Opening

By yvonne

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Last week, Spin Ceramics, a porcelain and stoneware company from Shanghai, successfully celebrated the opening of their flagship store in the SoHo district of New York City. Located on Crosby Street, the grand opening also marks their debut into the US.

The evening was a mixed crowd of professionals, artists and friends –all who came to support a growing company. The food was abundant -duck crepes, spring rolls and noodles served in delightful little black take out boxes- catered by Sonnier & Castle. To top it all off, there was not one, but TWO bars serving champagne and wine. Honestly, can you think of a better crowd pleaser?

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Though the food and drinks were amazing, it was not the highlight of the evening. Spin’s charming collection caught everyone’s attention with its whimsical pieces, such as the 12 Faces vase set, Dim Sum paperweights, and Wutong Leaf dish. As delicate as porcelain is, Spin Ceramics Managing Partner Clay Cunningham was not concerned about guests handling and accidently breaking the products. Instead, he encouraged people to pick up and touch them so they can get a real sense of how detailed and durable the porcelain is.

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The US flagship store can also serve as an art piece on its own. Keeping with the aesthetic design of the original location in Shanghai, it has an open space with pieces laid out and lit up like an art gallery. The store also carries a piece of history -the bricks found near the entrance and back wall are original bricks that dates back to Ancient China.

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Be sure to stop by Spin Ceramics flagship store!

13 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10013
T: (212) 226-6085

http://www.spinceramics.com/
Facebook: SpinCeramicsUSA
Instagram: @SpinCeramicsUSA

Burning Man

By gillian zwengler

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After six years of waiting, eight months of planning, one cross-country plane ride and a 36-hour journey from San Francisco, I finally arrived at Burning Man – a 70,000-person strong city that exists for just seven days in Nevada’s Black Rock desert before everything is packed up and burned to the ground.

From an architecture and design perspective, Burning Man is entirely unique. Artists spend months developing elaborate, large-scale installations and there is more art at Burning Man than you could ever hope to experience within a weeklong timeframe. Such vibrancy and beauty could only emerge from something as lifeless as the desert – the stark contrast between the dry, dusty playa bed and the ethereal, oftentimes otherworldly, installations let you appreciate the artworks in a completely new way.

photo-4                                    Embrace, designed by The Pier Group

One of the major attractions at this year’s Burn was Embrace, a four-story wooden sculpture. Inside, a long, winding set of stairs led straight to the top, where you could look out through the sculpture’s eyes and onto vastness of the playa. Connecting the two forms was a massive, electronic beating heart that filled the structure with the cathartic sounds of our own internal rhythms. My favorite part of Embrace occurred only in the brief moments after the sun rose each morning and the space between the sculptures lips was illuminated, almost as if the two figures were greeting the new day with a fiery kiss. Embrace burned to the ground early Friday morning in front of thousands of revelers, myself included, and its smoky destruction was every bit as epic as its existence.

photo-5                                            Robert Allen’s fabrics made a special appearance

For me, other Burning Man highlights included a pirate ship themed art car with a fully functioning merry-go-round, a bowling alley in the middle of the desert that streamed The Big Lebowski, and, of course, The Man, the festivals’ very own Northstar, which served as the focal point of the event throughout the duration of the week.

Although the music and art are incredible, Burning Man is much more profound than any song or sculpture can ever express. Each year, people come to the desert to create magic together and the energy that’s generated by this beautiful, bizarre community of people from all over the world is electric. It’s refreshing. It’s a radically open environment based on giving with no expectation of receiving anything in return. While I was there, the honest, heartfelt conversations, shared sunrises and deep, soulful hugs with strangers filled my heart with more light, love and positivity than I ever dreamed imaginable. It’s no wonder so many people call Burning Man home.

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 5.21.37 PM                                                               The Man on Burn Night. Photo courtesy of Ralfi Kondili.

If you’ve ever considered attending Burning Man – go. Go to the desert with an open heart and an open mind. The playa will provide the rest.

In dust we trust.

London Calling Design

By jacqui

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Among the multitude of events taking place around London Design Festival (September 13-21), the Global Design Forum (September 15-19), Decorex International (September 21-24), and 100% Design form the big events. The latter (September 17-20) celebrates its 20th edition this year (twentieth!), which makes those of us who remember the fledgling years suddenly feel old. The speaker line-up for 100% Design this year features Ed Barber and Jay Osgerby, whose ticketed event is part of a talk series related to another anniversary—the Design Museum’s 25th birthday. It also serves up conversations between design and publishing luminaries, like Jaime Hayon and Icon’s Christopher Turner, and Philippe Starck and Wallpaper’s Tony Chambers. Another highlight: architect Mark Dytham—from Tokyo’s KDa and founder of PechaKucha—will host a special PechaKucha event that plays on the theme of ‘20,’ in which key speakers from previous PechaKuchas have 20 seconds to present 20 images. Should be a blast.

Below: A Design Kaleidoscope by Thomas.Matthews combining the Magis Heatstool by Thomas Heatherwick with the Wingback chair by James UK—one of the kaleidoscopes in an exhibition celebrating 100% Design’s 20th birthday.

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MCNY PRESENTS THE STORY BEHIND NYC’S DRAMATIC TILED ARCHES

By kristin

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If you’ve ever dined under the pearlescent vault of the Grand Central Oyster Bar or marveled at the abandoned subway station at the end of the 6 train line, then you’ve seen the work of the Guastavinos - the father-and-son team whose arched tile ceilings helped transform America’s interior spaces at the turn of the 20th century.

Their innovative method of constructing elegant, self-supporting thin tile vaults is the focus of a fascinating exhibition, Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile, at the Museum of the City of New York running until September 7, 2014.

Palaces for the People exhibit at MCNY

With archival photos, a large-format photograph of the now defunct City Hall subway station and a half-scale replica of a Guastavino vault, the exhibit takes you back in time, when New York underwent a profound physical and cultural transformation in the late 1800s. Money was being poured into the beautification of municipal buildings and the creation of grand architectural landmarks such as Ellis Island, Carnegie Hall, the Municipal Building and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. These structures, and hundreds of others throughout the country, all contain one of the most beautiful engineering feats of the 20th century: interlocking tile vaults designed and built by a single New York firm, the Guastavino Fireproof Construction Company.

Palaces for the People at MCNY

Founded by Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino Sr., and subsequently led by his son, Rafael Jr., the Guastavino Company helped build some of the most impressive interior spaces in America. Based on early Mediterranean building methods, their patented system for constructing domes and vaults involved multiple layers of thin ceramic tiles bonded with quick-drying mortar. The resulting structures were not only exceptionally strong, but also lightweight, easy to build, and inherently beautiful, thanks to intricate patterns of exposed tile that formed finished, decorative surfaces. During its 73-year history, the Guastavino Company contributed to some of America’s greatest public spaces - veritable palaces for the people.

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Celebrate Mid-Century Architecture at SarasotaMod Week[end]

By Dahlia

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The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) presents SarasotaMOD Week[end], a four-day festival, held in the beautiful Gulf Coast city of Sarasota, FL, commemorating the region’s iconic mid-20th century architecture. This weekend event, October 9th – 12th, 2014, is jam-packed with guided trolley, boat, and walking tours, social gatherings, and presentations by distinguished architects, critics and designers. For more information, visit www.sarasotamod.com.

Healy Guest House, Sarasota, FL, 1950.  Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph architects.

Healy Guest House, Sarasota, FL, 1950. Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph architects.

SarasotaMOD Week[end]’s speakers will include such leading modernist architects as Carl Abbott, author of Informed by the Land; John Howey, author of The Sarasota School of Architecture: 1941-1966;Joe King, co-author of Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses; Lawrence Scarpa, pioneer of sustainable design; and Tim Seibert, designer of many iconic Sarasota School of Architecture structures. Presenters will also include acclaimed landscape architect Raymond Jungles and author, critic and filmmaker Alastair Gordon.

Sarasota High School, Sarasota Fl, 1958.  Paul Rudolph, architect.

Sarasota High School, Sarasota Fl, 1958. Paul Rudolph, architect.

Festival participants will have a chance to experience Sarasota’s architectural jewels in the context of Florida’s subtropical setting. SAF’s board chair, Janet Minker discusses the importance of the relationship between the Saratosa architectural movement and its location. She states, “There’s a reason a globally significant architectural movement grew up in what used to be sleepy seaside town by the Gulf of Mexico. Not every city with beautiful sandy beaches and palm tree-lined streets inspired an architectural movement that actually takes the city’s name. Sarasota did. We’re going to examine why.”

Festival Highlights

October 9
Opening Reception: The Building Itself Teaches. Lorrie Muldowney, manager of Sarasota County Historical Resources will offer insights in this final showing of an exhibit of Philip Hiss’ legacy of architectural excellence as head of Sarasota County’s public school system.

 

October 10
Experiential Transformations. The life of a building is the life of the people who use it. Noted architect and keynote speaker Lawrence Scarpa will investigate the experiential context of creating, enjoying and preserving great structures, and why experience is the most important building block of all.

Laying the Foundation: The Making of a Modern Sarasota, 1880-1940. From the turn of the 20th century until the 1920s, John Hamilton Gillespie, Bertha Palmer, John Ringling and Owen Burns laid the foundation for the modernist architectural visionaries to come. Architectural columnist Harold Bubil and historian and author Jeff LaHurd will shed light on their achievements.

Stories on Stage: Interview with John Howey. In 1997, architect John Howey’s The Sarasota School of Architecture: 1941-1966 hit the bookstores. His groundbreaking book put the region’s modernist legacy back on the map and inspired the modernists of the future. What’s the story behind the story? Thanks to an unscripted interview with historian Christine Madrid French, we’ll find out.

Bubil’s Top Ten Buildings in Sarasota. Architectural critic and Herald-Tribune columnist Harold Bubil will reveal his best-loved buildings, including work by Jack West, Victor Lundy, Paul Rudolph and I.M. Pei, on this trolley tour.  

 

October 11
True Veterans of the Sarasota School. Sarasota School veterans Tim Seibert, Carl Abbott and John Howey will explore the architectural alchemy that made this regional expression of mid-century modernism possible. Architect and architectural critic Joyce Owens will moderate this magical panel discussion.

Prosperous Bohemians. What do Long Island and Sarasota have in common? A legacy of mid-century modern beach houses—some demolished, and some still standing. Alastair Gordon’s presentation will reveal sustainable, domestic spaces by Charles Gwathmey, Richard Meier, George Nelson, Philip Johnson and others.

Philip Hiss: The Impresario of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Morris Hylton III will explore the architectural impact of adventurer, photographer, author, diplomat and entrepreneur, Philip Hanson Hiss III.

Mid-Century Modern: Inside, Outside and Beyond. Architects Samuel Holladay and Michael Epstein and interior designer Pamela Holladay will investigate the mid-century modern paradigm, and how contemporary architects and interior designers can approach that design inheritance with understanding and respect in their renovation projects. Case studies will reveal creative design solutions to mid-century makeovers in the real world.

Paul Rudolph’s Sanderling Beach Club Buffet Supper. Rudolph’s national reputation is defined, and sometimes pigeonholed, by his monumental concrete structures. Here, dinner guests will enjoy his playful side, in an interconnected, vaulted gathering space of cypress, glass and concrete. Architects Joe King and Carl Abbott will supply the dinner conversation.

 

October 12
SarasotaMOD 2015 Preview. Secrets and surprises are on the menu at this Sunday brunch at the mid-century inspired Shore Diner on beautiful St. Armands Key. Guests will preview SAF’s plans for SarasotaMOD 2015 and meet the team behind SAF’s ambitious recreation of Paul Rudolph’s iconic Walker Guest House on the campus of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Be sure to visit www.sarasotamod.com for more information!

(All photos: Greg Wilson)

Design Driven City: Engaging designers to shape better cities

By Marine

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Remember when you and your family were playing the Sims, building houses, cities, and communities? Designers and architects, you could be doing the same things in real life, or pretty much so. Helsinki, Mexico City, Manchester: all have hired city creative directors to help foster civic innovation and find solution to inherent urban problems.

One of the most ambitious and comprehensive projects, Design Driven City, was launched this year in the Finnish cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, and Lahti. A legacy of the Helsinki World Design Capital event in 2012, this two-year project aims to help shape better and more people-centric cities. Design Driven City believes in the power of design to create user-friendly cities with better services for citizens and to spark conversations among communities around new ideas.

A multidisciplinary effort, Design Driven City leverages the experience of three designers: Sara Ikävalko, Mikko Kutvonen and Pablo Riquelme. Their mission as “city designers”? Build an understanding of design within the city, consult and educate city employees on the process of design.

Above (from left to right): City Creative Directors’ Pablo Riquelme, Sara Ikävalko, and Mikko Kutvonen

Over the next two years Design Driven City will work with 10 to 15 projects. The first projects will be: Tidy Construction Site, an initiative of Stara (the City of Helsinki’s construction service provider) that aims to improve the look and navigation of construction sites; a Home That Fits, which looks at solutions for youth homelessness; and Helsinki Festival (15-31 August 2014), a festival park area that will transform the capital’s Citizens’ Square into a gathering space with changing structures and functions.

There is no doubt that Helsinki is emerging as a city to watch as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation chose the Finnish capital to launch its first open, international architectural competition. The jury of the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition is on the lookout for a visionary design for the proposed museum in the Eteläsatama, the South Harbor area of Helsinki with great national and cultural significance. Projects must be submitted before September 10th.

Now, design lovers, don’t you think Helsinki could be a great vacation escape this summer?

Above: The port of Helsinki, the heart of the city

Above: The port of Helsinki, the heart of the city

May The Force Be With You This Summer At The Rubin Museum Of Art

By Marine

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Rubin Museum – Bodies in Balance

Is the daily grind grinding you down? Worried sick? It might be time to change your mindset. This summer, the Rubin Museum of Art—the only museum in the US dedicated to the Himalayan region—presents Bodies in Balance. Focusing on the art of Tibetan medicine, the exhibition, which runs till September 8th, will provide you with a better understanding of the forces that run in your body and teach you techniques to achieve peace and wellness.

Tibetan medicine—known as Sowa Rigpa or the art of healing—has been taught and practiced throughout Central Asia for more than 2,500 years. It combines the best elements of Indian ayurvedic, Chinese and Greek medicine, and other medical traditions. In this holistic and complementary healing system, the human body is considered to be based on the “five cosmic energies”—space, air, fire, water, and earth. The biological intermediaries of these five are the “three humors” (nyepas in Tibetan)—wind, bile, and phlegm—which govern the physical and mental aspects of the being. Each of the three is considered to be a sort of energy or force, which circulates through the different channels, organs, and tissues of the body. In Tibetan imagery, they are associated with the colors pale blue, yellow and white. Imbalances in the nyepas create illnesses that are treated with medicines or through modifications in behavior or diet.

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Above: Tibetan tree – In the medicine tree, blue is the color for wind, yellow for bile and green for phlegm.

At Bodies in Balance, get ready to walk through a couple of millennia of Tibetan medicine. The exhibition demonstrates the advancement of Tibetan medical knowledge through 140 objects dating from the 9th century to the present day, including medical paintings, manuscripts, and medical instruments. A multimedia installation shows how Tibetan medicine is used today. There is also an interesting personal component to the show. Before entering the galleries, you are invited to fill out a brief questionnaire that determines which of the three forces is dominant in your constitution. Each of the three results corresponds to a color-coded pathway that will lead you through the exhibition to reveal the works relevant to your energy.

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Above: The Mandala of Shakyamuni Buddha, a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.

In addition to the exhibition, the Rubin has designed a summer program that will leave you more balanced this summer. The related series of talks, classes, and workshops will transport you to an alternative universe in which you’ll learn all about the art of healing. These include: mandalas that feature the Medicine Buddha, the source of healing knowledge;  paintings of trees used in Tibetan medical schools; diagrams of diseases; pulse readings that detect the status of a person’s body, mind, soul, and spirit; and protective amulets based on astrological readings.

Talks, classes and workshops run from July 9th to August 20th, 2014, and will conclude with a conversation with life coach and The New York Times bestselling author Gabrielle Bernstein, who will explain how meditation can help achieve happiness and well-being. Get your tickets here and peace out.

 

Super Steals At Super Saturday

By Dahlia

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Interested in scoring some exclusive designer merchandise while raising money for a great cause? Super Saturday is hosting it’s 17th annual day-long fundraising event on Saturday July 26th, sponsored by QVC & Donna Karen and hosted by New York’s very own Kelly Ripa. Located at Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill, New York, it’s perfect for the entire family and we would love to see you there! Described as the “Rolls Royce of garage sales” by The New York Times, attendees will have access to a variety of high-end items, including, but not limited to linens, pillows, art, china, antiques, jewelry, and books.

Some stylish throw pillows available for purchase at the Hamptoms Cottages & Gardens Booth at last year's Super Saturday.

Stylish throw pillows available for purchase at the Hamptons Cottages & Gardens Booth at last year’s Super Saturday.

Tickets start at $450 and 100% of the proceeds go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Due to the high profile nature of this event, Kim Kardashian, Betsey Johnson & Heidi Klum have been in attendance in previous years. This year’s star-studded guest list includes a number of celebrities, editors, and designers such as Carolina Herrera, Ralph Lauren, and Diane Von Furstenberg. Be sure to stop by the Cottages & Gardens booth to donate and be featured in the event coverage in the next issue of this renowned magazine.

Click on the image or this LINK  to purchase tickets and for more information.

NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial Gets Crazy About Craft

By Marine

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With NYC Makers, Director Glenn Adamson returns to the origins of the MAD Museum (formerly known as The Museum of Contemporary Crafts), whose mission was to display the handmade work of artisans, craftsmen, and highly skilled individual makers. Appointed Director in October 2013, the former Head of Research of the Victoria and Albert Museum (who as a college graduate was an intern at MAD) made it a top priority to “advocate for the reconsideration of craft as a pervasive cultural force rather than a circumscribed artistic category.” As he sees it, craft provides the “connective tissue” between art and design. And this is what the NYC Makers exhibit is all about: celebrating the artisans, artists, designers, and craftspeople who live and work throughout the five boroughs and the range of skilled activity they represent. In doing so, it presents a snapshot of the city’s creativity economy and cultural production, and the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the individuals engaged in it.

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Above: Anatomical 12-Part Dissected Human SkullRyan Matthew Cohn dismantles human and animal skulls and then remounts them in exploded form.

The exhibition honors the work of 100 “makers”—practitioners whose work demonstrates the high craftsmanship and innovation. They include familiar names in the art and music world, such as Laurie Anderson and Yoko Ono, and designers both established and emerging from Flavor Paper to Fort Standard. Still, over 80 percent of the makers are showing at the museum for the first time, and many works were made especially for the show. Over 400 skilled artisans were originally nominated for the showcase by over 300 local cultural leaders from a range of trades and disciplines, including museum curators, choreographers, academics, chefs, musicians, and journalists. The final 100 participants were selected by a 10-person jury, including Adamson and curator Jake Yuzna, led by design entrepreneur Murray Moss. The selection reflects the diversity of makers in the city, in terms of ethnicity, gender, background, location, expertise, and materials used. The exhibition also sheds light on the hidden gems by including the work of behind-the-scenes makers you wouldn’t ordinarily encounter.

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Above: an installation view of NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial

From neon signs, whiskey bottles and mannequins to dinosaurs’ bones, instruments and coffee beans, the MAD Biennial definitely impresses with the variety of materials and pieces on show. What makes this exhibit one of a kind is that it takes the showcase outside of the galleries: step into the lobby and dive into the colorful world of CONFETTISYSTEM; take the stairs to sample the scents of a scratch-and-sniff wallpaper, a collaboration between Carlos Benaïm, Jesse Hlebo, and Flavor Paper; and ride the elevators to experience Moonlight, a glowing lurex interior created by Scott Bodenner. Along the way, you might get your portrait done by artist Jason Polan, whose ambitious project is to draw every person in NYC: during the summer, he will sketch the museum’s visitors and add the portraits to the gallery walls.

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Above: a scratch-and-sniff wallpaper by Carlos Benaïm, Jesse Hlebo, and Flavor Paper

NYC Makers turns out to be a great friends-and-family activity as the exhibit is lively, entertaining, colorful, educational, and accessible to everyone. Children and adults can have fun playing in the colorful playground of Misha Kahn and Anne Libbey’s installation Peach is Back, join Or Zubalsky’s Meeting table where they can hear their hearts beating together, and see how fragile fossilized bones are displayed in the Velociraptor Mount of professional mount-maker Richard Webber. We guarantee you that no one will say “I am bored!” One of the show’s more compelling and revealing moments is delivered in And I Can’t Run by Lower East Side Printshop, where visitors can use their cellphones to snap a photo of a screenprint to unlock a hidden image of early-20th-century slavery.

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Above: a few pieces displayed at NYC Makers, including Misha Kahn and Anne Libbey’s installation Peach is Back

The MAD museum also put together a comprehensive summer program including a large variety of talks and workshops. Explore your wild side with the self-professed “Mad Hatter” H E I D I L E E, who will teach the art of origami and how to make hats that can be transformed different ways; join designer Jeremy Chernick and J&M Special Effects as they demonstrate the possibilities of live and pre-taped special effects; or participate in a multisensory experience created by artist Miriam Simun and commemorate Agalinis acuta, the federally protected endangered plant species in New York State whose flowers bloom only one day a year. There’s practically something for everyone! Find the full list here.

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Above: participate in a fun origami workshop with Mad Hatter H E I D I L E E

New Colony on the Block

By sevan

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After successfully hosting Reclaim 3: Carte Blanche during NYCxDESIGNColony—the new co-op for independent furniture, lighting, textile, and object designers—officially opened its doors to the trade and public late last month. The new gallery showcases new and existing collections from thirteen of the hottest contemporary American designers: Allied Maker, Assembly, Egg Collective, Flat Vernacular, Hiroko Takeda, KWH Furniture, Meg Callahan, Sharktooth, Sit and Read, Token, UM Project, Vonnegut Kraft, and Zoë Mowat.

Colony is trying to establish a new model in the design landscape with a cooperative-esque structure that allows designers to come together to tackle universal challenges. “Our goal as a group is to create a destination for interior designers and architects to come and be inspired,” explains Colony Co-Founder Jean Lin. “Furniture, lighting, textiles, and accessories are meant to be experienced and ultimately used, and Colony is a place where that can happen on a very intimate level.”

The first exhibit at the gallery, In the Making, shows process imagery and models alongside completed products, giving visitors insight on what it takes to make world-class design in a local market. In the Making is on view until August 1, 2014.

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Colony is located at 324 Canal Street, 2nd Floor, New York City. Visit www.goodcolony.com for more information.

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