American Design Hot List 2016
Charlap Hyman & Herrero
New York and Los Angeles, ch-herrero.com
Founded by a furniture designer (Adam Charlap Hyman) and an architect (Andre Herrero), this of-the-moment interior-design firm has growing roster of clients (Everlane, Dean & Deluca) and a playful, daring aesthetic.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
In America, architects have to be like cowboys. Designing spaces in the United States requires a speed and agility that is unnecessary in Europe. This pace allows for a constant evolution of new ideas — and it’s exciting.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
We have a number of residential projects in New York that will be wrapping up in the coming year, and we are eager to see them lived in. In Marfa, Texas, we will be breaking ground on our first freestanding building, a ranch house. Having thoroughly enjoyed designing a set for the opera La Calisto this past year, we are looking forward to working on another set for the Dutch National Opera, in collaboration with the artist Cynthia Talmadge.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
We love both contemporary and historical examples of Gesamtkunstwerk. Because of our varied design backgrounds — and the manifold nature of our projects — the intersections of different disciplines are particularly exciting for us. Lately we have been looking at the set designs of Josef Svoboda, the interiors of Carla Venusta, the nightclubs of Lapo Binazzi and The Haus Wittgenstein.
In our design process, we like to challenge ourselves to fall in love with what we hate. Sometimes, on Fridays, we go to the Met and look for the piece of furniture that we find most ugly and then try to imagine an architectural space that would make it compelling.