On the Calendar


Embrace the New at IMM Cologne

By danielle

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As the new year begins, many of us find ourselves with new resolutions. Whether they’re to better yourself or to help others, there’s one thing that most people can agree on: we want to do something new. If that desire for new brings you abroad, then we hope your feet are firmly planted in Germany right now for the 2019 edition of IMM Cologne. The first trade show of the calendar year, IMM Cologne is home to countless new designers, trends and ideas, and has recently become a hub for new ideas and inspired ways of approaching and thinking about interior design. Opening today for curious visitors and running through January 20th at Koelnmesse Hall in Cologne, Germany, the design fair hosts more than 1,200 exhibitors from approximately 50 different countries, all guaranteed to impress. The show itself is split into six “worlds”: comfort, sleep, smart, pure, prime, and global lifestyles. Each of the worlds has a specific list of products that will be on display in the area, making the show easy to navigate and approachable to everyone, no matter your level of expertise.

Photo courtesy of IMM Cologne.

One of the most well known and exciting areas of IMM Cologne is the annual “Das Haus — Interiors on Stage” installation. Each year during the show, a section of the exhibition hall is created by a selected designer or architect to look like a residential house, made to reflect their personal idea of an ideal living space. This year, Australian design team Truly Truly, made up of husband and wife Joel and Kate Booy, was selected to curate the eighth version of Das Haus. Rejecting the idea of the typical functions of certain rooms, Truly Truly created a space that feels completely organic. 2019’s Das Haus is undoubtedly on the forefront of upcoming trends; both designers have said that they want the space to be open to interpretation, even ambiguous. IMM Cologne creative director Dick Spierenburg has called it a “must see”. The installation itself can be found in the Pure Editions area of the show, and is already attracting a huge amount of attention during the show.

Image courtesy of IMM Cologne.

IMM Cologne is also offering countless other experiences, including guided tours of the exhibition hall highlighting the newest interior design trends, as well as numerous presentations by designers, architects and journalists. Also being presented is the 16th annual Pure Talents Contest, a well known and highly exclusive competition for promising young designers. As one of the most well known design contests for recent college graduates, each one of the designers selected is tasked with presenting a product that will be exhibited and later assessed. Judged by a panel of design experts, this competition allows young designers to get a foot in the door of the international interior design world, as well as allowing visitors a glimpse of new and exciting trends.

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Image courtesy of IMM Cologne.

Consistently on the cusp of new trends and exciting innovations, IMM Cologne 2019 will surely not disappoint those looking for something new and exciting out of the design community!

Maison et Objet – Excuse My French!

By danielle

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While we often find ourselves daydreaming about Paris, this time we have an actual excuse as Maison et Objet opens its doors in just a few days. Running January 18 through January 22 at the Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre, Maison et Objet is one of the leading design trade shows worldwide. Showcasing 3,000 unique exhibitors, 600 of which are new brands, and their work, it covers all aspects of the living space, from furniture to fragrance. With this year’s theme, “Excuse My French!”, Maison et Objet Paris allows attendees to, once again, “discover the unexpected”.

Trade Shows are never easy to navigate – especially ones with so much to see. This year, the show will split up into sectors for the first time (categorized by “Maison” and “Objet”) to help ease the traffic of the 90,000 annual visitors.  “Maison” will display decoration and home interiors, while “Objet” will more act as a retail space, showing individual objects and accessories for sale. These separate divisions will allow for a more organized, easy to navigate show, while providing attendees with an “Á La Carte” approach to the exhibitors and displays.

Maison et Objet is also embracing new exhibitors and designers throughout the show. New and featured exhibitor Livingthings looks to create modernized versions of typical home staples that evoke emotion in the people using them. Using just ceramic, wood and cork, Livingthings creates small items, like flower pots, with the intention of standing out. Other new exhibitors range from Mybeewrap, an eco friendly alternative to plastic wrap, to Paulina Okurowska, an artist specializing in sculpture made from slate.

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Photo courtesy of Livingthings

Emballage alimentaire ecologique

Photo courtesy of Mybeewrap

Koré_ 35cm x 90cm, old slate and copper foil on aluminum

Photo courtesy of Paulina Okurowska

This year, Maison et Objet is also presenting 60 new speakers, all coming to the table with varied experience and expertise. Several sessions will explore the social media for business such as “To win over and build customer loyalty on Instagram” and “How to optimize publicity on Facebook and Google in 2019”, while others focus on topics like the marketing of perfume and floral design. One panel, made up of young Chinese designers will consider the impact of technological development and the rise of artificial intelligence on the world of design in the panel “Rising Talents China: a new generation of designers”. Highlighting six designers from China, all relatively early in their career, the panel will show how each speaker expresses themself in a rapidly changing design environment.

One of the most highly anticipated parts of the show is the presentation of the Designer of the Year Award. This year, the honor has been bestowed upon Sebastian Herkner. Described as having “innovative yet traditional” work, the German designer has been the recipient of numerous awards over his career. Herkner will be presenting, as well as unveiling a collection of his most recent creations at Maison et Objet, giving us even more to look forward to. Another major award is the Rising Talent award, which this year is presented to six Chinese designers.  This award follows past editions, featuring designers from the United Kingdom, Italy, and Lebanon, and the Maison et Objet will showcase work by the Rising Talents in the Exhibition center.

Sebastian Herkner

Photo courtesy of Maison et Objet

With the new layout of the trade show, as well as the introduction of new exhibitors and speakers, we’re excited to see what Maison et Objet January 2019 has to offer!

 

Reshape Your World in Creativity at HeimTextile

By danielle

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Not just an event. An experience “toward utopia.” Guests from all over the world are being immersed in a multi-sensory tactile experience with diverse global at HeimTextile Trends 2019/2020. Yesterday marked the opening of one of the largest events in the textile industry where new trends and innovations are on display for many to awe with the theme of this year’s event “Toward Utopia.”

This year marks more product segments, space, and a wider range of products. Not only is there a new hall structure but an interactive hall plan that includes features such as product segments, a watchlist and a search tool that enables users to navigate different details of the exhibition. Frankfurt consists of a multisensory experience which makes it possible to experience five interactive scenarios with enticing scenarios like PURSUE PLAY, SEEK SANCTUARY, OFF-GRID, ESCAPE REALITY, and EMBRACE INDULGENCE. Seek Sanctuary is a refuge from oases of hyperactivity and materialism. Products in this exhibition are functional and based around the idea of essentialism.

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PURSUE PLAY- BLOWING SERIES BY SEUNG JIN YANG/ Messe Frankfurt GmbH

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SEEK SANCTUARY- ROPE LIGHT BY VERENA HENNING FOR AKTEEM/ Messe Frankfurt GmbH

The “Interior. Architecture. Hospitality Expo” which serves as a meeting point for the contract industry will feature bedroom textiles this year, an exciting addition to this target group. The overall theme of this expo hall is inspired by ‘Furoshiki’ wrappings which are a Japanese tradition that uses multiple square cloths and ways of knotting and folding techniques to create an eye drawing spectacle.

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Photo courtsey of Messe Frankfurt GmbH

Nothing is off the table with exhibitions like ‘All about Pets’ where visitors can find pet-friendly textiles for all their furry friends. An everyday ritual like sleep has its enticing forum “Sleep! The Future Forum” which includes four thematic blocks such as “Sleep & Sport” and “Sleep & Digital.”

One of the biggest buzzwords for 2019 is sustainability which will be front and center as part of the ‘green section’ that includes information about an environmental friend and social conscious textile production. The Green Tour, led by Max Gilgenmann is a must as sustainability is a big issue in 80% of visitors minds.

A fun new segment that puts a new twist on floor carpets explores the advantages of a textile floor coverings. The ‘Carpet by Heimtex’ by Verband der Deutschen Heimtextilien-Industries.V.

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Photo courtsey of Messe Frankfurt GmbH

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Photo courtsey of Messe Frankfurt GmbH

The cooperation between the European and Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association and Thomas Pötz has enabled the new ‘Printed Interior Decoration Lectures’ to become a reality which features the latest printing technology for textiles.

Heimtextil 2019 Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jochen Günther


 Jochen Günther/ Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH

Guided tours will help global visitors explore the massive space and discover the most exciting products at the start of the new year!

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ESCAPE REALITY- SECOND NATURE, HIDDEN LAYER BY FIELD/ Messe Frankfurt GmbH

Domino X Amazon Home Holiday Pop-up

By Katie Suh

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‘Tis the season to go gift shopping for your loved ones! The much anticipated Domino holiday pop-up shop is back, and this year, they have collaborated with Amazon Home to curate a beautiful selection of boutique-style gifts. The Domino X Amazon Home pop-up shop gives shoppers the dual experience of being able to enjoy in-store and online shopping at once. Customers can visit the shop, view the products themselves, then choose and pick to their liking—and conveniently check-out by simply scanning the items directly through the Amazon App, and getting their purchases delivered right to their doorsteps!

For this year’s holiday shop, Domino and Amazon Home have carefully curated a unique selection of home goods, which were all individually hand-picked by Domino editors, creatives, and interior designers. Get to know the creatives below and get a sneak peak at some of their picks!

Jessica Romm Perez, is Domino’s Editor-in-Chief. In the past, she’s worked with Elle Decor, Conde Nast Traveler, and Wall Street Journal, among many of the other media and design brands she’s worked with. Jessica is always discovering leading trends in design, home, decor, and style. Her laid-back yet chic sense of style is both modern and classy.

Areaware Balancing Blocks. Courtesy of Amazon.

Areaware Balancing Blocks. Courtesy of Amazon.

Justina Blakeney is both an artist and designer. She’s also the author of the New York Times best-selling book “The New Bohemians”. Her keen eye and distinct sense of style for colors, patterns, and plants, makes her design inspirations unique in that they are wild, free-spirited, and boho-chic.

Justina Blakeney Hamsa pillow. Courtesy of Amazon.

Justina Blakeney Hamsa pillow. Courtesy of Amazon.

Sarah Sherman Samuel is an LA-based interior and product designer. Known for transforming and creating distinctively tailored spaces through her expertise in color and pattern, Sarah’s eye for design is like no other.

The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel. Courtesy of Amazon.

The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel. Courtesy of Amazon.

Alison Roman is a culinary artist, writer, and author of “Dining In”. She’s worked as a Senior Food Editor at Bon Appetit Magazine and Buzzfeed in the past. Currently, she’s based in Brooklyn and working as a contributor for the New York Times.

Hario V60 Buono Stainless Steel Gooseneck Coffee Kettle. Courtesy of Amazon.

Hario V60 Buono Stainless Steel Gooseneck Coffee Kettle. Courtesy of Amazon.

Jonathan Adler is a potter, designer, and author who launched his first collection at Barneys New York in 1993. Over the years, he has expanded his brand into 17 boutique stores, and his designs are sold in 30 stores and over 1,000 retailers. His creations are, as he says, “happy chic.”

Now House by Jonathan Adler Decorative Accessories Stacking Boxes. Courtesy of Amazon.

Now House by Jonathan Adler Decorative Accessories Stacking Boxes. Courtesy of Amazon.

Kate Berry is a floral designer, stylist, and creative director at-large. She started her career as a floral designer, but now as she works as the Creative Director at Martha Stewart, where she not only makes floral arrangements, but curates entire spaces infused with her zest of nature.

Sugar & Cloth White Melamine Tray and Multicolor Condiment Cups Set. Courtesy of Amazon.

Sugar & Cloth White Melamine Tray and Multicolor Condiment Cups Set. Courtesy of Amazon.

Mat Sanders is an LA-based interior designer and founder of interior design service platform, Consort. His expertise lies in designed celebrity spaces. Among many of the spaces he has is Jessica Alba’s home and Lauren Conrad’s office.

Bloomingville Grey Square Cotton Blend Pillow. Courtesy of Amazon.

Bloomingville Grey Square Cotton Blend Pillow. Courtesy of Amazon.

Molly Rosen Guy was named on of the “Most Creative People” by Fast Company and Refinery29’s “Top 30 Visionaries.” She is the author of “Love, Lust and Wedding Planning for the Wild at Heart,” and she is known for her truthful, unfiltered voice in her writings.

Deco 79 Large Seagrass Woven Wicker Basket. Courtesy of Amazon.

Deco 79 Large Seagrass Woven Wicker Basket. Courtesy of Amazon.

Make sure to visit the Domino X Amazon Home holiday pop-up. It is located in the heart of SoHo, on 446 Broadway, New York and will be open until December 24th.

The Citizenry’s Holiday Pop-Up Shop Lands in the West Village

By Nicole Haddad

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The Citizenry Bunkhouse

The Citizenry Bunkhouse

The Citizenry, a socially conscious home décor brand that partners with artisans from across the globe, just opened their holiday pop-up shop on Bleecker Street in the West Village. The curated collection of handcrafted items includes bedding, pillows, chairs, vases, and throws that are not only beautifully made, but help support the more than 2,100 artisans the brand works with worldwide.

Co-founders Carly Nance and Rachel Bentley travel from country to country to invest in various artisan communities—spawning beautiful collections from each namesake country. As Bentley says “Less than 1% of the world’s textiles are produced in fair trade conditions—22 million people work in this harsh reality every day. The Citizenry is committed to creating handcrafted home goods with new standards for quality, transparency, and social responsibility.”

What results is guilt-free shopping and unique items made with materials local to each community. Who wouldn’t love a luxurious throw hand-loomed by master weavers in the Peruvian Andes? The pop-up, dubbed The Citizenry Bunkhouse, is open through December 22nd and offers free gift wrapping on all purchases and complimentary craft coffee. For a list of fun events, location, and hours, see below.

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The Citizenry Bunkhouse Location:

379 Bleecker Street between Perry and Charles Street.

The Citizenry Hours:

Monday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saturday Maker Series

Each Saturday, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m., The Citizenry will be hosting some of their favorite NYC makers to help customers get holiday ready. This includes artist Linda Colleta showcasing her artwork on December 8th, and award-winning author and baker Sarah Owens making baked goods in the shop on December 22nd.

Sunday Sundowns!

Every Sunday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., The Citizenry will be serving beer and wine, spinning records, and offering shoppers cookies and treats.

Champagne Send Off

Date: Saturday, December 22nd

To properly say farewell to their last night in The Bunkhouse, The Citizenry is offering shoppers bubbly from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The Citizenry Bunkhouse offers free gift wrapping on all purchases.

The Citizenry Bunkhouse offers free gift wrapping on all purchases.

Let’s Make a DIFFArence!

By Katie Suh

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Table by M Moser at DIFFA's 20th annual Dining By Design. Courtesy of Marion Curtis.

Table by M Moser at DIFFA’s 20th annual Dining By Design. Courtesy of Marion Curtis.

Today is the first day of December, and it is World AIDS Day. In the spirit of giving during this holiday season, we would like to share a note from our friends at DIFFA (Design Industries Fighting AIDS), about this cause that needs continued support:

On this 30th annual World AIDS Day, DIFFA commemorates the 500,000 people in the United States whose lives have been tragically cut short by HIV-related causes and celebrate the progress in new diagnostic methods and antiretroviral medicine that are saving lives. There are more than 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States today and nearly 40,000 people were diagnosed with HIV in the United States in 2016. These staggering statistics are representative of REAL PEOPLE who are impacted within our communities and highlights the urgent need to join hands to end HIV/AIDS and stop new diagnoses.

The fight to end HIV/AIDS requires global collaboration and a multi-pronged approach that includes unbiased access to treatment and targeted education and prevention methods to communities most at-risk. More than 22 million people living with HIV worldwide are without treatment. Increased cross-sector partnerships are needed to support widespread treatment to prevent illnesses, death and avert new infections.

DIFFA is in full support of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 strategy to end AIDS by 2020. UNAIDS 90-90-90 relies on global solidarity to ensure that at least 90% of people know their status, receive adequate treatment, and achieve viral suppression. With less than 2 years to actualize this goal, DIFFA grantees are working daily to ensure treatment, education and direct services are offered to key groups who need it most. Our grant making efforts supports dozens of organizations nationwide and guarantees they have the funds and resources needed to continue their work.

Grantees like Boom!Health, GMHC and North Idaho AIDS Coalition provide educational outreach; Callen-Lorde, Hetrick-Martin Institute and AID Atlanta offer prevention and PrEP methods to at-risk population; and Housing Works, SAGE, and Planned Parenthood provides case management and testing services. Collectively, DIFFA grantees address the critical needs of the UNAIDS strategy to end AIDS by 2020.

This World AIDS Day, join us in pledging your support; help us meet our goal to end AIDS. Get tested, get treated and contribute to the efforts of so many others to fight HIV/AIDS across the nation. Visit www.diffa.org/donate to make a difference.

DesignMiami/ 2018

By Katie Suh

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What is design in the 21st century, how is it defined, or is there even a way to define it? How does design play a role in our day-to-day lives and how does it impact the way we interact in society? DesignMiami/ addresses these questions and presents the ongoing ever-evolving discipline of culture, art, and architecture when it makes its return this December (on view December 5-9, 2018)!  Over the past 13 years, DesignMiami/ has quickly evolved to become one of the foremost design and architecture fairs in the world bringing together a global spectrum of people including collectors, gallerists, designers, curators, and critics. This year, DesignMiami/ is bringing together another spectacular roundup of leaders for the Design Talks program. These industry leaders have been actively influencing the design discourse and production and they will be addressing and discussing the most compelling current topics of design.

The very core of DesignMiami/ is a marketplace for collectible design, attracting the highest level of private and public collectors of historical and contemporary design. Featured works are by pioneering modernists to cutting edge contemporary designers of the 20th and 21st century. In addition, DesignMiami/ collaborates with partners such as Airbnb, Audi, Douglas Elliman, Fendi, Maison Perrier-Jouet, and Louis Vuitton in order to present new works of design. These collaborations take the form of immersive installations, curated exhibitions, and exquisite objets d’art.

"One of Airbnb's most appealing features is staying at a stranger's home. With that in mind, the online lodging company enlisted Belgium studio Muller Van Severen to recreate the shared home of its founding principals...Simultaneously inviting and mysterious, the replication includes details that make this 'fake' version an intimate portrait of a home away from home." - Harris, Azure Magazine

Airbnb installation from DesignMiami/ 2017

Audi installation from DesignMiami/ 2015

Audi installation from DesignMiami/ 2015

Fendi installation from DesignMiami/ 2017

Fendi installation from DesignMiami/ 2017

Curio, Design Miami/’s newest exhibition platform is a series of special installations on display throughout the fair that showcase cabinets of curiosity. The program includes works from the 20th and 21st centuries, and embodies thought-provoking installations of scientific and technological research alongside handcraft and creative production.

Design Curio: Gallerist Patrick Parrish collaborated with MIT's Self-Assembly Lab and Christophe Guberan to present the Lab's Rapid Liquid Printing technology.

Design Curio: Gallerist Patrick Parrish collaborated with MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and Christophe Guberan to present the Lab’s Rapid Liquid Printing technology.

Design Curio: "Me and my brother teach primary school kids to work with their hands, making things from the leftover materials around them - things like slats of wood and plastic toys." Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana.

Design Curio: Oatmeal bowls by Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana. “Me and my brother teach primary school kids to work with their hands, making things from the leftover materials around them – things like slats of wood and plastic toys.”

DesignMiami/ also partners with museums, foundations and schools to support the cultivation of design. Every year, DesignMiami/ commissions rising architects to design the expo’s entrance. Last year, the award was given to “Basel-based architecture and design firm Christ & Gantenbein” to design the Mwabwindo Series, a series of furniture to donate to the Mwabwindo School. The firm created simple wooden blocks that could be interlocked like Lego pieces to create stools and tables for the Mwabwindo School. The firm was selected because of the precision of the design on its contextual terms. The making of the pieces would support the Zambian economy since the pieces would be produced locally and delivered for local assemblage. Furthermore, the furniture proved to be economical and sustainable as it could be arranged in an array of configurations, adapting to the changing needs of the classroom.

Furniture prototypes that display the lego-like feature for diverse arrangements.

Furniture prototypes that display the lego-like feature for diverse arrangements

Blueprint of the Mwabwindo School

Blueprint of the Mwabwindo School

DesignMiami/ is located at Meridian Ave., and 19th St., just adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center. Get your tickets here when they are available for sale. 

Coming Soon: The Salon Art + Design

By Katie Suh

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Every fall, The Salon Art + Design opens with the world’s most prestigious galleries presenting their exquisite collections of historical, modern, and contemporary art, design, and furniture. This year, The Salon is scheduled to take place on November 8th-12th at The Park Avenue Armory, New York. 56 galleries from 11 countries will exhibit their dazzling collections of decor that span from the early modernist Nouveau to the late 20th century – works by the masters to the young and upcoming talents.

Book signings, design discussions, and talks and screenings, are just some of the plethora of events scheduled for The Salon. Several special installations from leading brands will also be on view throughout the event. Maison Goyard will present an exclusive installation with the theme,“In Praise of Slowness,” which will showcase a snail pulling a net of Goyard trunks – a playful and poetic metaphor for slowness as the epitome of grand craftsmanship and design. Another installation will be from Eileen Fisher, which will highlight the blurred boundaries of design in today’s world. The installation will feature wall hangings and interior decor made from stitching together old garments, effectively showing today’s dynamic, circular economy in which art, design, textiles, and activism intersect.

Goyard at The Salon 2017. Courtesy of Maison Goyard.

Goyard at The Salon 2017. Courtesy of Maison Goyard.

Exhibition from Milan, Salone de Mobile 2018. Courtesy of Eileen Fisher|DesignWork

Exhibition from Milan, Salone de Mobile 2018. Courtesy of Eileen Fisher|DesignWork.

Our friends at Architectural Digest think “The Salon is one of the few happenings of this sort that can’t be missed.” We couldn’t agree more!

Get Ready for The Alpha Workshops’ Masquerade Ball!

By Katie Suh

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The Alpha Workshops is back with its annual Masquerade Ball! This year’s theme, Alpha After Dark, invites guests to dress up as their favorite nocturnal creatures and dance the night away at Stage 48 in Manhattan. Garnering over 300 of New York’s most prominent professionals within the design community, including interior designers, architects, manufacturers, and press, the Masquerade Ball is one of the most anticipated design events of the year. For over a decade, this event has benefited the Alpha Workshops Studio School – the only school in the nation that professionally trains people with HIV/ AIDS in the decorative arts field. Alpha After Dark will be hosted on Tuesday, October 30th.  

Here’s a look at last year’s Exotic Aquatic-themed event which was co-hosted with Benjamin Moore and Drake Anderson.

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Courtesy of The Alpha Workshops.

About The Alpha Workshops:

The Alpha Workshops is a non-profit organization founded in 1995 in Manhattan’s Chelsea area. It was modeled after Omega Workshops, the Wiener Werkstätte, the Bauhaus, and the American Arts & Crafts movement. It is the umbrella organization of: The Alpha Workshops Studio School (AWSS) and The Alpha Workshops Studio. AWSS is a vocational school formally licensed by the New York State Department of Education and the Alpha Workshops Studio is an acclaimed profession design studio staffed by AWSS graduates. The Alpha Workshops has rapidly grown over the years and has touched the lives of many along its path. It has received press coverage in Architectural Digest, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, Contract, Domino, ELLE DECOR, House & Garden, House Beautiful, InStyle Home, Interior Design, Metropolis, Metropolitan Home, Metrosource, Newsday, Newsweek, New York Magazine, New York Spaces, O at Home, POZ, The Daily News, The New York Times, The Robb Report, Time Out, Traditional Home, Veranda, and Vogue Living. Today, it is recognized as the nation’s one-and-only non-profit organization that provides a decorative arts education and employment to talented people of communities that are at-risk or with disabilities or other vulnerabilities, and it continues its dedication to “creating beauty and changing lives”.

ADFF Kicks Off with World Premiere of Leaning Out!

By Katie Suh

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The 10th season of the Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) kicked off in New York Tuesday night with the World Premiere of Leaning Out, directed by Basia and Leonard Myszynski. This moving documentary tells the untold story of the World Trade Center’s lead structural engineer Leslie E. Robertson, the legendary man who oversaw the construction of the world’s tallest skyscraper at the time.

Young Les with WTC sketch_Composite for Leaning Out_Courtesy LRobertson_

Image: Courtesy of Leslie E. Robertson.

The film begins with the tragic events of September 11, 2001 – the day the Twin Towers came tumbling down. Even today, 17 years later, we are still haunted by grief and sadness when we pass by the 9/11 Memorial, which stands exactly where the Twin Towers originally stood, tall and proud.

Leaning Out delves into the prolific life of Robertson, touching upon his early life and his successful career as a structural engineer, working on projects like the World Financial Center in Shanghai and the Lotte World Tower in Seoul. The film chronicles the story of the Twin Towers through Robertson’s eyes – from the innovations he brought to the Towers’ design, to the enormous sense of guilt he still carries over their collapse on 9/11.

The film also offers a unique lens into the Towers’ role in preserving lives. The structures were able to resist the impact of both crashes, thereby allowing people to escape through the stairwells, which remained largely intact until the buildings collapsed. And because the buildings collapsed vertically, rather than toppling over onto other buildings, thousands of lives in the surrounding areas were spared. Despite the many lives lost that day, and although Robertson is still burdened by guilt, Leaning Out shows us that his innovative designs actually helped to save many people who might have otherwise perished.

Twin Towers in orange light_Courtesy Les Robertson

Photo: Courtesy of Leslie E. Robertson.

Ultimately, the directors take us on a journey to discovering a brilliant man who, in his post-war experience and in the wake of 9/11, became an activist and a pacifist. Leaning Out poses a juxtaposition between loss, survival, and healing through the intricate weaving of the storyline by the film’s directors Basia and Leonard Myszynski.

Les by steel beam from WTC_Leaning Out_Photo Credit LMyszynski_2017

Photo: Courtesy of Leonard Myszynski.

Leaning Out is on view Friday, Oct. 19th and Saturday Oct. 20th. For more information, click here.

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