American Design Hot List 2020
Michael Yarinsky is the ultimate multi-hyphenate. We first got to know him as founder and curator of Brooklyn’s Cooler Gallery, which literally turned a walk-in freezer into a showcase for art and design. Since then he’s made a name for himself as founder of the design studio Tangible Space, creating furniture and lighting for the likes of Made By Choice, and designing corporate interiors for young start-ups like Billie and Uprise Art and residential ones for friends like Nick and Rachel Cope of Calico Wallpaper. Definitely one to watch.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
A frequent phrase we throw around at our office (maybe an unofficial slogan of ours) is “No Style, No Discipline” in reference to the way we approach each project free from the constraints of stylistic trends or a single scale of design. We feel that the freedom of thought afforded in the American design world allows us the flexibility to work this way — constantly questioning and constantly experimenting. Additionally, the collaborative nature of American design and the ability to leverage the skills and resources of a community of designers allows us to make far more impactful projects.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
In the new year we aim to expand our projects further outside of NYC — to the West Coast and abroad. We are pushing into larger and more intricate fields of design, like hospitality, which unify many of our various interests. We love to incorporate culture, design at multiple scales, and new approaches to social interaction. Larger, more complex projects present opportunities to explore these elements on a deeper level. Expanding into new locations affords us a new starting point and learning experience from which to design.
We also plan to continue to grow our culture & advocacy work, like Design Advocates, Cooler Gallery, and People in Places. Design Advocates is a network of experienced architecture, design, and advising firms, as well as individuals, who volunteer their time and expertise to collaborate on projects, research, and advocacy to serve the public good. Cooler Gallery is an art gallery that focuses on the physical border of large art, design, and manufacturing communities; the curation aims to reflect the essence of this intersection. People In Places is a monthly gathering that began to both broaden and deepen the discussion of the interior and the human-space relationship. Each of these pursuits in turn informs our design approach and forges a deeper connection with our community.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
The most defining element of our studio is a human-centric approach that is felt in the way a space is experienced. What informs this is a curiosity and exploration into how the experience of places and details impacts the way we feel. We like to explore form, texture, new and unexpected materials, details and color in this pursuit. While we take a critical approach to these explorations, the hope is that the application of what we learn can create an emotional relationship and fullness in our projects. Our hope is that a cohesive crafting of a space from the feeling we wish to convey (based on real lived experience) will imbue our projects with this same resonance.