custom design

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VICE DISCO PLANE

Vice Media needed to create a unique focal point for a Delta Air Lines event they were recently curating at Kinfolk in Brooklyn. Delta Launchpad was a series of workshops and performances targeting young entrepreneurs and innovators so the event had to shine. Vice Media’s Production Coordinator approached New Project to build an oversized rotating disco ball in the shape of an airplane to cast a little sparkle on the party. Although we only had two weeks to make it happen, we said, “No Problem!”

Our designers quickly drew up a few options in RHINO based on the client-provided concept sketches. The plane components were CNC’d out of foam, assembled as if a model airplane kit, painted, then covered in mirror tiles.

The plane was engineered and suspended to ensure it would rotate smoothly from the ceiling-mounted motor.

After receiving images of the nearly completed plane, our clients were obviously pleased. The Production Coordinator’s comment? “Whoa! I am blown away, it looks amazing!”

Another day, another disco.

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Jay CNC’s the parts out of foam

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The parts are assembled like a model airplane kit

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The plain plane

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Assorted engine parts being painted

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Luke and Chris begin mirror application

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It even looks good upside down!

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Luke applies finishing touches

Taking her for a test spin

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DB and team with finished bike racks

On the Road to Menlo

Eight years ago, New Project collaborated with the artist and avid cyclist David Byrne on a series of 9 bike racks he designed for the New York City Department of Transportation. The temporary public art pieces were created at the time to spur more interest in biking in the city. Each powder-coated steel bike rack was sited in a location that related to its design: a dollar sign on Wall Street, a woman’s shoe in front of Bergdorf Goodman, an abstract sculptural form in front of MoMA.

8 years later, David conceived of a new set of bike racks to be installed in Menlo Park, CA near Silicon Valley in conjunction with his exhibition at PACE Gallery. Fortunately for us, he once again reached out to New Project to collaborate. We worked with the artist to execute five site-specific designs including a pointing finger, a cloud, a rocket, an infinity shape, and the @ symbol.

David came by the studio last week and we asked him a few questions about the project.

New Project: We understand you were inspired by your role as a juror for the New York City Department of Transportation’s 2008 CityRacks Design Competition to create your own bike rack designs. How did you arrive at the designs for the first round of racks that New Project fabricated?

David Byrne: Yes, the city held a competition for bike rack designs and I wasn’t submitting my designs (mine would be difficult to mass produce) but as a fun item to amuse the DOT (Dept. of Transportation) and increase awareness. I sketched out imaginary racks for specific neighborhoods. Pace (David’s gallery) saw them and suggested we actually make them….and with Scanga (Bill Scanga of Pace Gallery) we began to knock around ideas with New Project about how that could be done.

NP: What was your experience like working with New Project?

DB: This is going to sound like gushing, but it was so easy and their work is so rigorous and they’re so sensitive to the way we creative types think – perfect.

NP: How did you feel seeing your bike racks across the city?

DB: I LOVED seeing the racks out there – I felt “I’m a physical part of New York City now!”

NP: Are you inspired to make more public art? Would you like to see David Byrne bike racks in other cities, other countries?

DB: I’m very open to the idea – though as mentioned, to do mass produced racks at a reasonable cost they’d be less one of a kind than these….however these draw attention to the need for racks, even if they don’t solve the problem.

NP: How did the 2016 Silicon Valley series come about? 

DB: With a collaborator, I’m doing an immersive installation in a Pace pop up gallery and they thought – hey, how about more bike racks for the Silicon Valley people out here?! Some businesses or Stanford might even buy some. So again I sketched out some ideas that are very specific to that world….

NP: In your 2010 book, Bicycle Diaries, you share your adventures from the perspective of a global urban cyclist and humanist. The advantages of seeing a city from the seat of a bicycle are obvious; how do you think we can convince more people to share your passion?

DB: I think one can’t “convince” people – and doing it because it’s good for you or for the planet isn’t going to convince folks either – but if they try it they may enjoy it…forgive me, this is terrible, but realistic, if a man sees beautiful women passing by on bikes, he may decide it might be something worth trying….if business folks begin to commute on bikes and the city makes it safe, then it lessens the stigma that only scruffy types or hipsters ride bikes.

NP: Where are you and your bike heading next?

DB: I’ve got a loaner during the install in Menlo Park and Palo Alto!

The Institute Presents: NEUROSOCIETY, an immersive theatrical experience co-created by David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar, will be on view October 27, 2017 through March 31, 2017 in Menlo Park, CA.

David Byrne drawings for new bike racks
David Byrne’s concepts for the new bike racks

Scale model of DB bike rack 
Patrick with a scale model

Molly welding up DB's infinity bike rack
Molly welding the infinity rack

Molly setting up, checking the tack welds
Molly checks the tack welds 

DB rack post-grind
Infinity post-grind

After powder coating
After powder coating

DC and team with finished racks

Team David with the bike racks before painting (left to right): Dennis, Aaron, Kelly, Molly, David, Patrick, Ethan, Fielding

 

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The Planets by Nanna Debois Buhl

My Very Eccentric Mom Joyfully Sells Unique Ninjas at PS163Q

In 2013, artist Nanna Debois Buhl received a commission through the Public Art for Public Schools program to create a work of art for a new addition to a high school in Flushing, Queens. Nanna and her consultant, Nathalie Pozzi, reached out to New Project for assistance with the fabrication of the sculptural installation.

After visiting the school, Nanna created a proposal for a model of our solar system combined with a collection of mnemonic phrases written by students from the school. Both components were to be made out of steel with a bright, red, glossy, powder coated finish.

New Project worked with the artist, her consultant, the NYC School Construction Authority, engineers, and the general contractors to ensure the work would be fabricated and installed as the artist envisioned as the school addition was being built.

We spoke to Nanna about The Planets, her new installation at PS 163Q in Flushing, NY.

NP: How did this project come about? When did it start?

NDB: The project began in spring of 2013, when I was invited to participate in a competition for a public commission for PS163Q initiated by the NYC Department of Education, NYC School Construction Authority, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program.

I made a site visit to get an understanding of the school, its profile, and its architecture. My proposal was an installation for the school’s lobby consisting of a model of the solar system and a collection of phrases, written by students from the school, for remembering the order of the planets in the solar system (planetary mnemonics).

Over the last three years, the work has been developed in collaboration with New Project (fabrication), Nathalie Pozzi (artist’s consultant) and Anni’s (graphic design).

Have you done other public commissions or works in schools?

Yes, Journey to the End of the Night (2010) is a public commission I have made for a high school in Denmark. It covers the four walls of the school’s canteen. Cut out on wooden wall panels, the motif is a map of the position of the stars over the high school on the opening day in 2010. The star formations are accompanied with titles, which are places – from literature, film, music, art, philosophy, and science; works that the students may encounter during their time at the school.

My public commission Atlas of Anatomy (2013) is created for an educational institution in Denmark that houses nursing, teaching, physiotherapy, social education, and social work programs. Silkscreened on 3,000 square feet of inner glass walls, the work consists of 15 photographs of body parts of people in different ages and a cut-up text composed of 133 medical, philosophical, and literary quotes about the body. Many of the quotes were culled from the library of the institution whose educational programs, to a large degree, deal with various aspects of the human body. I think of the commission as an abstract interpretation of the historical anatomical reference book, a journey through a collective body composed of many bodies and voices.

You mentioned that these mnemonic texts (acronyms which take the initial letter of each list item to create a memorable phrase) were created by the students. How did you get them to participate?

I was in dialog with the (now former) principal who gathered a group of students who were interested in participating. I gave them the guidelines for constructing the sentences which they then wrote.

Were you surprised by the responses you received? Do you have any favorites?

It was so exciting receiving the texts from the students. I love the fact that they have used language that I would never have come up with: Nutella Sandwiches and Ninjas, and names such as Mei and Ming – representative of the demographics of the school, which has many Mandarin speaking students.

What other surprises did you encounter in the design process?

The typographic aspect of the work was developed in collaboration with Denmark-based graphic designer Anni’s. We decided to work with the format of the writing exercise book and to think of the two walls where the texts are placed as pages in an open book. The letters of the mnemonics were placed on lines alluding to the exercise book format (and making the installation process more simple). At the end of the last text block there are some empty lines – a built in invitation to continue constructing new sentences. The work combines a scientific model (the solar system) and the imaginative universes of the children (the texts). I think of the model as a motor in a machine that can continue producing texts. And I see the students’ texts as a kind of conceptual poetry (constraint-based writing).

The work invites students to interact with it, to come up with their own mnemonics. Does all of your work entail collaboration or a back and forth of sorts?

Conversations (that be with experts in a given field, an art work, or, as here, a group of students) are always an important part of my working process. In the three public commissions I have made for educational institutions, I have invited people to contribute with textual material: For Atlas of Anatomy I made a “call for quotes” and for Journey to the End of the Night a lot of people helped me gather titles. I think of these works as cacophonic and therefore I also like the working process to have a collective aspect.

A big difference between an art work in a white cube setting and in a public commission is that the audience of the latter lives with the work for a long period of time. I, therefore, like to include an element in the public commissions that can unfold or be discovered over time (such as The Planets built in invitation to make up new sentences).

What was the most interesting aspect of working on this project?

Involving the students and receiving their texts. Developing a work for this specific context taking the educational setting and the audience (students and teachers) into account. And seeing the work transform from a 3D model to an actual physical work. After 3 years of preparation and fabrication it was stunning to enter the school lobby last week and see the work installed, finally.

What’s next?

My next project, I Imagined That Things Were Speaking, is a solo show at MSU Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb opening in October 2016. It will consist of a show inside the museum and a large projection on the façade of the museum building. All the exhibited works are photographic “readings” of various cityscapes through objects, plants, animals, and architectural components. The exhibition will thus both address a bypassing audience in the street and a museum audience. I am currently thinking a lot about composing the exhibition, so that it can speak to these different viewers with their different attention spans.

To see more of Nanna’s work, visit her website.

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Mnemonic text cut by our CNC machine

Steel planets orbiting in the shop
The planets in the shop before they begin their orbit

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The arms are inspected after welding

Beautiful powder coating!
Planets post powder coating

Artist Nanna Debois Buhl watches as the work is installed
Artist Nanna Debois Buhl watches as the work is installed

Installation in process
In the beginning, there was only Neptune

Lobby view
View of The Planets from the lobby entrance

 

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Scott Henderson's Slat Chair

Checking in with Designer Scott Henderson

 

Scott Henderson is a Brooklyn-based designer, founder of design studio Scott Henderson, Inc., and co-founder of the design collective MINT. Scott’s work—from housewares to consumer electronics to furniture—has been shown in numerous exhibitions such as the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s National Design Triennial and is featured in more than 350 retailers and museums around the world. His work has also been included in The New York Times Magazine, I.D. Magazine’s Annual Design Review, and other prestigious publications.

Henderson’s Slat Chair, above, was prototyped by New Project and debuted at the ICFF in 2011. With ICFF returning to the Javits Center in 2 weeks, we decided to check in with Scott to see what he’s been up to lately.

NP:  You’ve designed all sorts of products—from thermometers to furniture to yachts.  What would be your dream design job?

SH:  It would be fun to do something really big—like be on a team to figure out how to harness ocean waves to convert them into energy, or something like that.  How about a huge terrarium that creates drinking water in arid developing countries?

NP:  That does sound huge!  Since you’re all about the “big idea,” what “big ideas” do you see changing or reshaping your industry?

SH:  The Digital Revolution.  Even though that kind of design work is different from my kind of design, the trend is all about the decimation of the physical.  The biggest taxi company owns no taxis (Uber), the biggest movie house has no cinemas (Netflix), the biggest accommodations provider owns no real estate (Airbnb).  There are also fewer real stores to buy things in, so instead of seeing and touching a real product, you are buying it based on an online thumbnail image.  It’s hard to tell if a design is good or not with only that level of detail, so it makes sense that the importance of [physical] design is therefore diminished, and price competition once again becomes the sole driver of sales. This has reshaped my industry recently in that design now has to offer only what people deem as essential.  Millennials don’t want things—they actually hate stuff.  The age of the design knickknack is dead, and talking about emotion in design is yesterday’s pitch. Design now has to be about the essential. The trend is a return to problem solving and meaningful innovation.

NP:  You run your own successful design studio and have developed your own brands, create your own artwork, have served as chairman of IDSA’s national conference…how do you make time to stay inspired and continue to generate new ideas?

SH:  After a while it just becomes a part of who you are and no longer a job.   As I tell my clients, Scott Henderson Inc. never closes.

NP:  Does your design work come from a solitary or a collaborative process? Or a little of both? How do you like to work?

SH:  A little of both.  I involve my clients as my core team members.  Or if I am doing a “Scott” product, I’ll reach out to buyers and consumers.  I’m a sponge for input—I am always listening and watching. I even sleep with one eye open.

NP: Can you tell us what you’re working on now?

SH:  I’m developing new “Scott” products: a consumer electronics gizmo, some cookware, and some baby gear.

You can see more of Scott’s work on his website here.
And look for him out and about during ICFF and NYCxDESIGN events.

Scott Henderson’s Slat Chair, designed using the forces of tension and compression, was fabricated from molded aircraft grade birch veneer and two simple polished stainless steel rods. Check out the images below to see how New Project created the prototype of Scott’s chair in our shop.

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Dennis contemplates the tension

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Ivar shaping the seat

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Tom threading the slats

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Ivar assembling the pieces

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Voila–the final product!

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Calvin Klein window display

CALVIN KLEIN TOPOGRAPHICAL WINDOW DISPLAYS

We just completed another inspired window display for Calvin Klein’s flagship store on Madison Avenue. (You may recall our past windows with them including faux clay walls and 20th anniversary celebration display.) Their concept was to create a topographical landscape for their apparel to live in. Inspiration came from desert landscapes of the southwest. To create the models, we incorporated data from actual maps, tweaked it to fit the given spaces and product considerations, and generated cut files for our CNC machine. When all was said and done, there were over 800 discrete pieces with their edges totaling over a mile in length. Then came coloring; three colors dispersed somewhat randomly amongst all the levels. Needless to say, our diligence in labeling every last piece was absolutely essential for ease of assembly.

Check it out if you’re in Manhattan. Madison Ave and 60th street.

Canyon inspirationCanyons for inspirationCK Topo shapeVisual inspiration provided to us by Calvin Klein

 

CktopoMapA 2-D photo of our 3-D Digital Model

 

pat1Lee, Jody and Willen labeling pieces

 

pat2Jody labeling layers

 

CKtopofab2Sam & Lee beginning to assemble pieces

 

pat3Lee, Sam & Ben finishing up assembly

 

CK topo7Almost complete

 

CK topo2One of the finished windows

 

CK topo1Another finished window

think & build

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MaxMara Boom Boom Room Whitney

THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OPENS TO THE PUBLIC

May 1st marked the long anticipated public opening of the new Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. The museum and its 21,000 works now call 99 Gansevoort Street its new permanent home. The building, designed by famed Italian architect Renzo Piano, includes approximately 50,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space and an additional 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibit space. Its strong asymmetrical shape mirrors the industrial character of the neighboring buildings and stands prominently on the island’s west side overlooking the High Line.

To celebrate the Museum’s opening, the institution teamed up with the Renzo Piano Design Workshop and Italian design house Max Mara to design a beautiful custom handbag inspired by the new structure.

We have worked with a number of luxury fashion brands to create memorable and cohesive window and store displays throughout the city. Having worked with Max Mara before, we were approached by the London-based company Chameleon Visual, who have been producing distinctive visual concepts for the finest brands for years, to build and install a number of custom pieces for the launch of the Whitney Bag. On the docket: pedestals, cases, vinyl, large-scale lightboxes, neon signs, walls, after-hours installs, and three large-scale models of the Museum. No Problem!


 

Boom Boom Room- Top of The Standard Hotel Private View Party

Our Role: Fabrication and installation of one enclosed display case, and three large-scale models of the New Whitney Museum of American Art. The models, made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) & Dibond composite, were cut using the CNC machine with v-grooves allowing it to fold into shape. The models were then primed and sprayed with the building’s signature bluish-grey hue.

New Project Whitney Replica

Jody works on the Whitney Museum models in the shop under a heat lamp to seal the primer

 

New Project, Whitney Replica

Frank works on the construction of the Whitney Museum models

 

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Frank directs the installation of the models and vitrine in the Boom Boom Room overlooking the Whitney Museum 

 

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Our models alongside the Whitney Bag, overlooking the new Whitney Museum of American Art

 

Detail- Whitney Model

Each angle of the models were precisely cut to mirror Piano’s unique design of the new Whitney Museum 


 

MaxMara Madison Avenue– Whitney Bag Launch

Our Role: Fabrication and installation of lightboxes, neon signs, and bases to display the different style options of the Whitney Bag. This late-night installation took a large crew to finish, and we think the end result is pretty striking.

Max Mara Madison Ave Whiteny Bag

Pat overseeing the installation of the neon MaxMara sign

 

Max Mara Madison Ave Neon Install

Bart & Ben putting on the finishing touches

 

Max Mara Madison Avenue

Dressing the windows at MaxMara Madison Avenue in NYC

 

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Placing the glass over the Whitney Bag

 

Max Mara Storefront

MaxMara Madison Avenue Storefront

 

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MaxMara Madison Avenue Whitney Bag Launch


 

MaxMara: Saks, 5th Avenue Whitney Bag Launch

Our Role: Fabrication and installation of three separate displays in Saks, 5th Avenue.

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James loads the vitrines into Saks, 5th Avenue

 

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Frank and Kelly set up one of the three displays throughout the store

 

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Vinyl application

 

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MaxMara Whitney Bag Display #1 in Saks, 5th Avenue

 

MaxMara Saks

MaxMara Whitney Bag Display #2 in Saks, 5th Avenue

 

MaxMara Saks

MaxMara Whitney Bag Display #3 in Saks, 5th Avenue


 

MaxMara: Bergdorf Goodman Whitney Bag Launch

Our Role: Fabrication and installation

Whitney Bag- Bergdorf Goodman

Bart places the plexi on the custom vitrine which will showcase the Whitney Bag inside Bergdorf Goodman’s NYC location

 

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The final exhibit inside Bergdorf Goodman’s NYC location.

 

Whitney Bag- Bergdorf Goodman

simple & elegant

 

Credits:

Creative: Chameleon Visual
Production: New Project
Photography: Melvyn Vincent

think & build

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Cornell Tech

Cornell Tech Custom Furniture

Modular Custom Furniture for Cornell Tech- “It’s Not Our Space, It’s Theirs”


 

Cornell Tech's Studio inside Google's Chelsea building

Cornell Tech’s Studio inside Google’s Chelsea building

New York City is no stranger to arts-specific educational institutions. Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs are home to Parsons the New School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, and the New York Film Academy, among many others. Each offering their own set of discipline-focused curricula, these schools have produced countless alumni who have gone on to become leaders in their respective fields. With the recent shift toward the technological and with start-ups securing their place as a permanent fixture of our future, it was only a matter of time before New York’s already impressive educational offerings included a technology-based school which would focus on preparing its students with the information technology skills they’ll need to be at the forefront of the rapidly-changing technological landscape. Enter, Cornell Tech.

Seen as a way to increase entrepreneurship and job growth in the city’s technology sector, Mayor Bloomberg announced the plans for Cornell Tech’s 12 acre Roosevelt Island campus back in 2011. The first phase of construction is slated to be completed in 2017, with the remainder of the campus scheduled to be finished in 2037. In the interim, in order to establish a foot-hold in the city, Cornell Tech has begun offering their graduate program out of a temporary home inside Google’s Chelsea building. The school was looking for a space that is open and flexible, where students, faculty, and guests could interact and collaborate in unique and personalized ways. Enter, New Project.

New Project was contracted by Rockwell Group, a local architectural design firm, to fabricate large mobile modules that the students can move, rearrange, and manipulate to create unique spaces for classes, lectures, study, and lounging. Rockwell Group accurately defines the resulting creation as a “learning toolkit of working hubs and surfaces that encourage collaboration”.

Using Rockwell Group’s original designs, New Project fabricated and installed four freestanding, modular structures in the school’s “Studio” in 2013. Each module was equipped with white boards and cork boards, as well as access to dropped electrical power sources so that students could easily attach computers, projectors, monitors, etc. Various seating and large work surfaces make up the remainder of the space, which could be transformed and moved to accommodate a number of various needs including events, lectures and presentations. Additionally, we built a custom reception desk in the shape of Roosevelt Island, the university’s future home, using layered furniture-grade birch plywood.

A year and a half later, we’ve returned to the campus and spoke with Cornell Tech staff members Tamika Morales, Administrative Assistant, and Aaron Holiday, Managing Entrepreneurial Officer, to see how the units have been received and manipulated by the students. Here’s what they had to say:

NP: In your experience here at Cornell Tech, how have you noticed the students using the furniture in “The Studio”?
TM: The students have become very comfortable with the furniture. They use the large piece, dubbed “Mamma Jamma”, the most. I’ve seen it used as a large desk and study area, a stage, and many other things. All of the furniture is used on a daily basis in a number of different ways. The furniture has actually become a very important part of the student’s “Hack Days”.
 
NP: Can you elaborate on what a Hack Day is and how the furniture is used in the process?
AH: Hack Days occur three times a semester. The objective of this 24 hour event is for the students to make accelerated progress on the projects they are building on campus, particularly technology and software. It creates a collaborative culture for people who are actively building things. The furniture is an integral part of hack day. We put the studio in a way that its setup is completely unusable; tables are flipped upside down, things are all over the place. Tamika and the team will pile all of the furniture up in the middle of the room with the white boards all around the space. Then, at the count of three, students will race and go after everything and grab what they want. It’s actually quite incredible to watch this completely disheveled space transform into a useable work area in less than a minute. The students can create and convert it into their own space, They take ownership not only of the project they are working on but the space they’re working in. This can only happen because the furniture is modular and on wheels.
 
NP: That sounds exciting! Reminds me of the cornucopia scene in The Hunger Games, without all the violence of course. When we built the furniture we were really hoping that the students would take ownership of the space and utilize it according to their needs. It’s nice to see they are. Are there any other events that come to mind that the furniture was manipulated and used for?
TM: Yes! We use it all the time for seminars, announcements, panel discussions, and most often for our weekly guest speakers. We call it Conversations In The Studio, where luminaries in the tech community are invited to come and speak to about entrepreneurship, engineering, art and other topics. The conversations are moderated by the students. We can pull out the stage, and set up chairs, but the rest of the furniture is pushed to the sides to accommodate the crowds. Sometimes the Google people come down to hear the speaker.
 
NP: Have the students or speakers used the furniture in any way that has surprised you?
TM: I saw someone actually doing pull-ups one day on Mamma Jamma. I also once saw someone turn one one of the pieces into their own space, complete with a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the outside, they found the remotes that are hidden inside the desk… they really take ownership. The magnetic Cornell Tech sign gets moved everywhere and is played with to take pictures and whatnot. It’s always in a new spot.
 
NP: There is a lot going on here everyday, and it’s not a huge space. It almost seems like this kind of set up was necessary. If the furniture was static and heavy, you would have been very limited as to what you could do with the space.
TM: Yes, I think the students would have been very frustrated. It wouldn’t have the same energy. This isn’t our space, it’s their space.

We have to say, we knew the furniture would be utilized, but we were pleasantly surprised how they have incorporated the furniture into their daily lives on campus. It is interesting that physical furniture is so heavily manipulated and depended on in such a technological setting. We are so proud of what we built, and think Rockwell Group really hit the nail on the head with the design.

We leave you with some visuals from the planning, fabrication, and installation phases of the project. Enjoy!

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Cornell Tech is temporarily housed on the 3rd floor of Google’s building located in Chelsea. This beautiful neon sign greets you in the lobby. Google created its moniker using letterforms from actual old neon signs found around New York City. The space is being generously donated by Google until 2017.

 

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Before we could begin building, we had to make sure it would all fit with enough space to move around. We didn’t want a square peg-round hole situation. We used tape on the floor and built to-scale cardboard frames to verify the width, depth and height of each module.

 

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We started out by welding the frames together in our shop, then began fitting the various wooden surfaces and walls inside. Because all of the furniture was to be raised on wheels, it was important that all of the pieces were elevated enough as to not touch the floor.

 

Frank installing some panels into “Mamma Jamma”, the largest unit in the set.

 

 

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In addition to the free-standing modules, we also fabricated a few extra components including this bench/stage/table/bed… the list goes on.

 

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Here’s the bench/stage getting a final smooth coat of Cornell Red.

 

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The magnetic Cornell Tech sign

 

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Shop drawing for the Roosevelt Island table.

 

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Willen built the Roosevelt Island table out of 1/2″ numerous layers of furniture-grade birch plywood. Each layer was cut using the CNC to replicate the southern tip of the Island, which will be the school’s permanent home come 2017.

 

The desk was built as a hollow construction so that it would fit over and extend the work surface of an existing desk. Each layer was strategically seamed so as to limit the amount of material needed.

 

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Here’s the desk with the top layer attached. 

 

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The finished product ready for installation.

 

Installation day was a busy affair and we had the majority of our team on site. Did we mention all the units had to breakdown into elements that would fit through some fairly small doorways and turn down some narrow hallways, then reassembled on site?

 

Willen and the rolling countertop.

 

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Lee adjusting the counter weight to the sliding clear dry-erase board that can be positioned in front of two monitors. 

 

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The Cornell Tech sign is magnetic and can attach to any of the pieces. Here is Michael attaching the finishing touches.

 

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Our beautiful Roosevelt Island reception desk designed by Rockwell Group.

 

Cornell In Use

The furniture in use in The Studio.

 

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‘Conversations In The Studio’ lecture series. Photo courtesy of Cornell Tech’s Facebook Page.

 

Also, check out Rockwell Group’s Vimeo Page for a time-lapse video of Cornell’s Studio in use.

Think and Build.

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happy_new_year0

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

The Holiday Season in New York City


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NYC’s cultural institutions offer top-quality programming and exhibits around this time of year. Navigating the overwhelming options can be, well, overwhelming. With seven kids under the age of ten and one more on the way in our New Project family, we have some experience finding the best options for meaningful and exciting family time in the city.

If you’ve been following us online for the past month, you’re likely familiar with our latest project at the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in NYC, an exhibit titled Robot Swarm. The response has been glowing from visitors of all ages! The museum is open to the public seven days a week from 10am to 5pm, so there’s no excuse to miss it. You’ll find yourself just as immersed and fascinated as your kids, trust us, we always end up tied up in the Enigma Cafe.

Make sure you check out the other exhibits we’ve built for the museum, including the Logo Generator, Formula Morph, Harmony of Spheres, Motionscape, and Sixth Sense while you are there. Kudos go out to our friends and collaborators at MOEY, a Brooklyn based interactive design company we worked in conjunction with on these pieces.

 

LOGO GENERATOR
“Manipulate mathematical symbols symmetrically to create a unique MoMath-style logo” –MoMath

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Logo Generator allows the visitors to create their own MoMath logo.

 

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Here is the Logo Generator in our Brooklyn metal shop before all of the wires, sensors, and electronics were installed.

 

Check out the custom made joystick for the exhibit we built in our shop. (Photo courtesy of MOEY)

Check out the custom made joystick for the exhibit we built in our shop. (Photo courtesy of MOEY)

FORMULA MORPH
“Bring formulas to life by exploring the multitude of unusual three-dimensional surfaces they can create” –MoMath

 

Formula Morph is one of our favorite interactives we have made for the museum.

Formula Morph is one of our favorite interactives we have made for the museum.

 

Brett Kahler, Dennis Potami, Emily Conrad and Joey Stein discuss how the electronics will run through the metal structure.

Brett Kahler, Dennis Potami, Emily Conrad and Joey Stein discuss how the electronics will run through the metal structure.

 

Looking at the guts of Formula Morph.

Looking at the guts of Formula Morph.

 

In case your curious, here is the mathematical formula for a heart.

In case your curious, here is the mathematical formula for a heart.

HARMONY OF SPHERES
“Create a harmonic soundscape using this interactive musical sculpture, which takes its shape from the symmetries of the 12-tone musical scale”  –MoMath
Working on the prototype.

Working on the prototype.

 

Copper baskets were soldered for the inside of each sphere, to create an electrical field for sensing a hand's touch.

Copper baskets were soldered for the inside of each sphere, to create an electrical field for sensing a hand’s touch.

 

Willen Teofilo assembles the armature on the jig.

Willen Teofilo assembles the armature on the jig.

 

The finished project is a centerpiece at MoMath.

The finished project is a centerpiece at MoMath.

MOTIONSCAPE
“Explore the relationship between position, velocity, and acceleration with a full-body movement experience.”  –MoMath
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Motionscape tracking Ella Barth’s position, velocity, and acceleration.

SIXTH SENSE
“Choose six numbers and see how the machine predicted what their sum would be before the first number was even chosen” –MoMath

 

The brass shell pieces before they are assembled.

The brass shell pieces before they are assembled.

 

James Marsella wiring up the Nixie Tubes.

James Marsella wiring up the Nixie Tubes.

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Our entire team here at New Project wishes you and your families a happy holiday season and a beautiful New Year!

Thank you for your support and see you in 2015!

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Robot Swarm

The Robots Are Coming- Robot Swarm at MoMath

Robot Swarm at the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)


 

The Swarm Is Coming: Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) 

The Swarm Is Coming: Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), NYC

 

Robot Swarm is a full-body interactive experience that is based on a hot-topic in the robotics world right now: the mathematics of emergent behavior. Visitors to the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) will have the opportunity to step into the ring and come foot-to-face with a colony of horseshoe-crab-shaped creatures who will monitor your movement and react based on a series of behavioral commands. Sound fun? IT IS!

The museum is calling Robot Swarm The nation’s most technologically ambitious robotics exhibit ever. Controlled by a touch-screen panel on the outer-edge of the exhibit, visitors choose from five different scenarios (including On Your Marks, Run Away, Swarm, Pursue and Robophobia) which will then provide a set of rules to the robot colony below. Not only will the robots take into account the visitor’s location in order to perform these rules, but they will also use the locations of their neighboring inhabitants to execute their tasks. If you have ever wondered what it felt like to be Godzilla descending upon a city full of fleeing man-made creatures, or have ever had the urge to literally watch lines of computer code come to life before your eyes, then Robot Swarm will certainly not disappoint.

New Project has been fortunate enough to work with MoMath on a number of projects since its inception. Since then, we have served as one of the museum’s primary fabrication and installation companies. Last year, alongside Tim Nissen-MoMath’s Chief of Design, Three Byte Intermedia-a local technology consulting firm, and Knowledge Resources of Basel, Switzerland, we began working on the fabrication and installation of MoMath’s newest interactive exhibit Robot Swarm which will open to the public on Sunday, December 14th.

Beneath your feet, the robots, equipped with unique personalities and characteristics, will react to your every step based on the rules provided to them. Quite frankly, Three-Byte Intermedia and Knowledge Resources have blown our minds with their creations. Stay tuned to our blog when we sit down and chat with Chris Keitel, Principal at Three-Byte Intermedia about the project.

We’ve helped MoMath realize an exhibit that had been on their minds since the museum was first built. New Project helped bring their clean, industrial looking structure to reality to serve as the largest robotic home for coolest colony of robots. The display consists of a pressurized structural steel and glass contained frame that creates the robots playground and their docking and service stations. The overall structure suggests a boxing ring. Once in the ring you’ll be captivated by the uncanny movement of the robots triggering your instinctual desire to either fight or flee. The framing structure sits atop a wood chassis which was all built here at our shop in Brooklyn and then relocated and permanently installed on the lower level of the museum.

 

From left: Tim Nissen- Chief of Design, MoMath, Glen Whitney, Executive Director MoMath, Chris Keitel- Pincipal, Three-Byte Intermedia, and Cindy Lawrence- Co-Executive Director, MoMath.

From left: Tim Nissen- Chief of Design, MoMath, Mike Stengle- Knowledge Resources Group, Glen Whitney, Executive Director MoMath, Chris Keitel- Principal, Three-Byte Intermedia, and Cindy Lawrence- Co-Executive Director, MoMath.

 

Terry working on the wood chassis in our Brooklyn shop

Terry working on the wood chassis in our Brooklyn shop.

 

Brett, our metal fabricator, mounting the custom made ADA compliant handrail.

Brett, our metal fabricator, mounting the custom made ADA compliant handrail.

The swarm of robots are sealed beneath glass so that they and all of their delicate components are protected from visitors and other harmful materials. We had to make sure that the entire structure was built like a reverse vacuum, pushing out all dirt and dust from the museum.

 

Ensuring the vents are clear and the access points are working on site, prior to installing the glass

Frank ensuring the vents are clear and the access points are working on-site, prior to installing the glass floor

 

Perhaps the biggest challenge we faced while installing the exhibit was the lowering and the placement of two large glass panels each weighing in at almost 2,000 lbs. The panels, which would later become the floor of the exhibit, were placed into a storage area at the time of the museum’s construction, as the glass would be too large to be able to fit down the stairwell once the stairs were built. Basically, that gave us one shot to get it right. If they broke, there was no way to replace them.

No pressure guys no pressure.

 

Terry and James carefully maneuvering he glass panels out from storage

Terry and James carefully maneuvering the glass panels out from the museum’s storage.

 

Jody positioning and securing the gantry in order to hoist the glass out of the crates and safely onto the moving dolly.

Jody positioning and securing the gantry in order to hoist the glass out of the crates and safely onto the moving dolly.

 

Dennis, CEO, overseeing the placement of the glass floor

Dennis, CEO of New Project (kneeling), overseeing the placement of the glass floor onto the moving dolly.

 

Luckily, our installation team is amazing and, using custom-made dollies, and gantry that barely fit, and a set of carefully-placed car jacks, the glass panels were lowered into place over a two-night installation without a hitch. As you would expect, Terry was pretty stoked about it.

 

Terry being pretty stoked about it.

Terry celebrating after the first panel was successfully put into place.

 

Once Robot Swarm is open to the public we’ll post videos and photos of the exhibit in use, stay tuned! To experience our creation first-hand, check out Robot Swarm at MoMath, located at 11 East 26th Street in Manhattan. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

New project team putting on the finishing touches.

Part of New Project’s installation team putting on the finishing touches before the exhibit is open to the public.

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Hamburger flower

Custom Design- A Large Hamburger Flower

Hamburger flower.

One of our clients asked for a large flower/hamburger for an outdoor corporate event.  What?!  You’ve never seen a flower hamburger before? (Or would that be a hamburger flower?).

Here are some in-the-shop photos of our custom design.

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