I’m dedicating the last day of “Product Month,” it to local designers and Manufactures from the New York City area. For the past two years thatI have attended trade shows and fairs in New York, most of the products that held my attention were created by local industrial designers and manufactures located mostly in Brooklyn and Long Island City.
New York is definitely one of the biggest capitals in the world for design, but for many years foreign industries and mostly European brands were defining the design culture in NYC. A few years ago the Art & Design culture started to have a bigger development in Brooklyn and Long Island City, giving opportunities to designers to have access to industrial spaces and shops to develop their projects and still be just across the bridge from the most recent tendencies and trends that New York City’s & Manhattan Island brings to the industry.
Manufacturing in NYC presents a unique eco-system of businesses engaged in the physical transformation of materials to products. From high-end fashion designers to furniture manufacturers, the range of businesses that operate within the five boroughs is immense. These businesses are proud to continue the legacy of quality and innovation that NYC stands for.
A great example for this is Brooklyn, which holds a unique and diverse mix of architecture, interior design and design of public and private spaces like mechanic shops renovated into restaurants, to newly built museums, to restored brownstones and modern townhouses.
Designers, artists and artisans are immersed by this design movement and bring their shops and ateliers to the city, converting it into one of the trendier places to be if you are in the design and furniture industry.
Here are a few of my favorite local brands, which all together can be a great source for any designer working in the New York area. I tried to have a bit of variety so I have presented some lightings, partitions, high-end designs and conceptual designs.
Khouri Guzman Bunce Lininger designs and produces a line of handcrafted American furniture built in their shop in Brooklyn. The line is unapologetically modern but executed in materials and utilizing methods associated with older levels of craftsmanship. Working in fumed white oak, silicon bronze and Pyrex, to cite a few examples, KGBL fashions sophisticated pieces that employ marquetry, leather molding and precious metal plating techniques. Their showroom is located on a High Line block of Chelsea’s Gallery District.
Their product is definitely an example of the excellence of high-end design, the rigid and strong metal structures softens delicately with the use of the right techniques to enrich the different metals. They have a forward design philosophy that also preserves some lines and style from the mid century adding a new trend with materials, colors and finishes. I would define KGBL as elegant, retro-vanguardist high-end furniture.
Designer James Dieter recently launched a new customizable lamp and his new design studio in Brooklyn NY at the same time. Although he’s been designing lighting through dform since 2001, James Dieter Studio will be focused on exploring simple linked geometric forms.
Probably the most fascinating aspect of JAMES DIETER designs is that they have movement, they are not static, and to have this quality in lighting practically doubles the value of the product. There is also a sculptural sense where geometric forms, excellent materials and vibrant colors make these lights unique pieces.
Fahmida is an emerging residential furniture and accessories designer based in New York City. She earned her Masters in Industrial Design from the Pratt Institute.
Building on her professional experience, Fahmida is dedicated to creating home furnishings that are contemporary and timeless, while enriching life through function and beauty.
Functionality is probably the greatest attribute of FAHMIDA LAM designs, thoughtful ideas that materializes through the right use of materials and forms. She has a vanguard aesthetic that enables her designs to fit perfectly in almost every space. Performance, ability, vanguard and innovation is what defines her style.
Razortooth Design combines innovative concepts by merging the latest digital capabilities with time proven fabrication techniques, creating uniquely designed environments for retail, corporate, hospitality and residential applications. The focus of the company is the tight integration between design and manufacturing and the constant search for original ideas.
One of the most fascinating aspects of this great product is their innovation in digital technology implemented on a considerable variety of products and systems that will help you improve your life style. Wall panels, partitions, furniture and lighting are some of the possibilities RAZORTOOTH DESIGN brings to the industry. I think the partitions are probably my favorite product, they offer very wide options to divide your space as if it was a wall, but keeping the openness and flexibility that characterizes these product.
Wüd was conceived in 2002 by its founder Corey Springer, a sculptor who graduated from the University of Massachusetts. Springer’s work draws inspiration from Japanese design and his background in sculpture, both figuring prominently in his design process. There is also a clear emphasis on superb craftsmanship that is apparent in all of Wüd’s creations. The inspired and beautifully crafted creations include striking combinations such as red Guma Wood and Pb-R, Australian Walnut and HRS-R (Hot Rolled Steel in Resin).
A good hand crafted product takes a lot of experience, precision and excellence, these three qualities can easily apply to WÜD furniture, they have the perfect balance between a massive, rustic piece of trunk wood, with the smooth implementation they do with metals incisions which complements perfectly with the lines and volumes that define the pieces. It is that type of furniture that gives character and personality to any space, especially if you are putting together an eclectic atmosphere with contemporary elements.
At the heart of PELLE’s work is a fusion of primary elements with modern form – geologic lines repurposed, blown glass and coiled leather forged to light contemporary spaces.
Their studio is located in Red Hook, a small but vibrant and creative waterfront community in Brooklyn NY. Their design office and manufacturing studios are on the ground floor and their showroom is located upstairs within the same building.
PELLE's pristine craftwork is clear proof of good aesthetics and function. This is the label that defines their precision on every detail and it's the detail that makes this brand stand out for product excellence. Their extensive catalog goes from furniture, lighting, home accessories to cosmetics and jewelry. It's a brand that not only succeeds for its quality but for its diversity applied to design and life style.
One of the most important reasons why I chose working with local manufactures and designers is that I have a face to face contact and relationship throughout the execution of my projects. This is reflected on the final outcome. You can easily keep track of any alterations needed to be done to the product, and you have a personalized treatment. Also, there are enormous benefits of bringing business to your community and promoting local designers which includes a more “greener” process, time saving, delivery and budget among others.