American Design Hot List 2015
New York, workstead.com
The Brooklyn duo have seen plenty of success with their interiors and industrial-chic light fixtures, but their 2015 furniture collection was next-level.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
Design in America today is at an exciting juncture. There is an emerging framework, not just in New York, but in cities through the country, that has reinvigorated manufacturing and craftsmanship. This framework enables American designers to engage with a design process that is not just about themselves,
but about a community of people who are genuine in their efforts to improve upon a place, be it through buildings, interiors, or objects. This landscape is incredibly exciting for us, as we get to have a dialogue with those who produce our work. Having recently traveled to both Paris and Tokyo, design in America feels like it’s at a turning point, where the pendulum is swinging towards a sensibility that is both grounded and progressive at the same time.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
On the projects side, our first hotel just opened. It’s a 27-room boutique hotel in Hudson, NY that explores the idea of modernizing early American interiors, with a sense of wit and context. We’re also designing a 155-room hotel in Charleston, where we’ve just opened a studio. That hotel, to open in 2016, will consider the concept of Southern Modernism — how to balance a modern sensibility with the tried-and-true palette of Southern furniture and interiors. It’s housed in a former Federal Office Building, built in the 1960s. We also have several residential projects in the works in Brooklyn and Manhattan. On the products side, we’ll be developing a new collection of lamps and case goods, which we plan to debut in the spring, as well as smaller tabletop objects for the first time. Having designed our first line of case goods this year, we’re also looking forward to continuing the dialogue between the two scales of our work — the architectural and interiors scale, and the furniture and objects scale. With the opening of our second studio, we’re excited to grow our product offerings more aggressively in 2016.
What inspires your work in general?
In both our projects and products, we’re inspired by the importance of utility in all things. We’re also inspired by the folks we work with — be it woodworkers, metal spinners, or artists — on a daily basis. They enable us to utilize durable materials — and, we hope, timeless forms — in our work.