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A Turner Prize–Winning Architecture Collective Sets Up Shop in Brooklyn

U.K. architecture collective Assemble has created an installation — dubbed “A Factory As It Might Be” — in the courtyard of A/D/O, the brand-new, forward-looking design space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The temporary factory features an industrial clay extruder, which Assemble — and their Liverpool-based social enterprise the Granby Workshop, along with fellow collaborators — used to make the factory’s cladding as well as a host of products from dinnerware to planters. The effort is the debut US project for the team, who famously became the first architects to win the Turner Prize in 2015.
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What inspired your Wearing series? “There are two points: The reference point and the real point. In many ways Wearing tried to blend the two together in that the arrangements could reference handwork, interior design, and decoration, while the real points of physical balance, weight, and the usable form activated the situation. An example of the process would be taking a counter top, or a surface found in the home, then ‘dressing’ it with objects.”

Ian McDonald, Artist and Ceramicist

To understand what it was like for Ian McDonald growing up in California’s Laguna Beach, it helps to refer back to one of the greatest television dramas of all time. Not, mind you, MTV’s reality show of the same name, but the heart-wrenching high-school football epic Friday Night Lights — McDonald’s hometown being pretty much the diametrical opposite of Dillon, Texas. “Laguna was founded as an artists’ colony,” he says. “Our school mascot, The Artist, ran around with a brush and palette and a beret. Even the football stars took art classes.” In fact, one of McDonald’s earliest run-ins with the medium that would eventually become his life’s work happened when his own sports-star brothers brought their ceramics projects home from school, where their art teacher was a local studio potter.
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