American Design Hot List 2014
New York, assemblydesign.us
The up-and-coming Brooklyn studio of Pete Oyler and Nora Mattingly, Assembly plays with materials, scale, and eminently simple and sophisticated forms.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
To us, American design is about harnessing a cavalier spirit, taking risks, and creating/cultivating new ways to make and sell work. Nora has dual citizenship and we’ve toyed with the idea of living and working in a country where there’s more cultural and institutional — not just commercial — support for design. Ultimately, though, we’re proud to be contributing to what feels like a unique phase in American design.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
Over the summer we developed two new products inspired by the idea that the experience of time is simultaneously measured and abstract. The 00 Clock was one result, and in December we’ll be introducing the other as an exclusive to celebrate the reopening of the Shop at The Cooper Hewitt. We’ve also been working on a series of licensed products, which is a new and exciting direction for us. Until recently, we hadn’t considered straying from our original business model, which was to design, build, and sell in-house. That said, our imaginations and materials palette have outgrown our production capabilities, and we’re very much looking forward to making more of our work accessible to a larger audience. We’re also thrilled that our furniture will be represented by the minimalist, material-focused Los Angeles gallery, Matin.
What inspires your work in general?
In general, we’re inspired by elegant simplicity, precision, and everyday details (currently: nice zippers, irregular baguettes, fingernail painting, glass doorknobs). We’re driven by our curiosity about materials and processes and are particularly interested in exploring the ways in which furniture and objects can work to shape ideas about ourselves and our surroundings.