Design

New Project Heads to London for Bloomberg LP

In late October, Bloomberg L.P. unveiled its new European headquarters designed by Foster + Partners and a special installation by New Project. The 3.2 acre London site includes numerous commissioned artworks and an exhibit designed by Studio Joseph about the legendary Bloomberg Terminal’s history. New Project worked closely with Principal Wendy Evans Joseph and Associate Connie Wu to realize their design which complemented the aesthetic of the building while capturing the unique, forward-looking identity of Bloomberg.

The display took the form of three interlocking and one stand-alone Möbius strip-like shapes made of aluminum and fiberglass to support embedded terminals and educational information. Studio Joseph’s impressive design for the individual components cantilevered eight feet from a single point requiring New Project to employ our engineering as well as fabrication know-how.

In July, Studio Joseph provided New Project with a 3-D model of the finished display from which we created design engineering drawings for production. The substrate was 5-axis milled from 3-pound EPS foam and fitted around a laser cut aluminum structure. The forms were glassed with carbon fiber, fiberglass, and epoxy resin, then coated with a satin automotive finish. After the Bruce Mau-designed graphics were applied, another clear coat was applied for protection. The terminal supports were fabricated out of steel and then powder coated. From end to end, the entire installation measured almost 24 feet long by 20 feet wide.

Once the fabrication was complete, we built custom crates and oversaw the shipping to London where we installed the display while the finishing touches to the building were still being undertaken.  We completed the entire project in under 3 months, including overseas shipping and installation. The end result was a stunning interactive display that invited people to learn about the technology that revolutionized an industry and laid the foundation for a billion-dollar business.

Design drawings for one component of Mobius installation

Milled foam readied for aluminum support structures

Laser cut aluminum support structures

Matt welds the supports to the steel base

 

Frank fits the support into the foam

Dustin preps the fiberglass forms

After the forms are painted and graphics applied, Frank and team build custom crates to ensure safe passage to London

Chris’s view of the installation process from above

 

 

 

Read More

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.

IMG_4769
Jay CNC’s the parts out of foam

IMG_20170601_161217
The parts are assembled like a model airplane kit

Image uploaded from iOS (52)
The plain plane

IMG_4774
Assorted engine parts being painted

Image uploaded from iOS (53)
Luke and Chris begin mirror application

IMG_4833
It even looks good upside down!

IMG_4837
Luke applies finishing touches

Taking her for a test spin

Read More

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.

the-planets_text
Mnemonic text cut by our CNC machine

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

the-planets_arms
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

 

Read More

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.

SlatChair_Dennis
Dennis contemplates the tension

SlatChair_seat
Ivar shaping the seat

SlatChair_Scott
Tom threading the slats

SlatChair_assembly
Ivar assembling the pieces

SlatChair_finished
Voila–the final product!

Read More
NYCxDESIGN

NYCxDESIGN Returns May 3 – 17, 2016

The New York City area is home to more than 44,000 practicing designers—a number greater than any other metro area in the US and almost as many as Chicago and LA combined—according to New York City Economic Development Corporation President Maria Torres-Spring. NYCxDESIGN, which takes place May 3 – 17, 2016, is New York City’s official citywide celebration of design.  The annual event, now in its fourth year, features more than 500 events at locations throughout the five boroughs and incorporates 17 different design disciplines including architecture, product design, design thinking, and urban design. From talks with starchitects to design showroom tours to consumer-friendly fairs featuring wares by up and coming designers, NYCxDESIGN offers something for everyone. NewProject is proud to be part of this dynamic, creative community, supporting many of the designers, architects, and artists who will be presenting their work at NYCxDESIGN. We hope to see you at some of these great events. Here are a few of our picks:

Design Noir
Design Noir
May 7 – 20, 2016
7:00 pm – 12:00 am
at Brooklyn Arts Fellowship

Design Noir is a showcase exhibiting new works by Black and Latino designers. Curated by Dave Jones, the exhibit will be free and open to the public with many of the works for sale.

BklynDesigns
Bklyn Designs
May 6 – 8, 2016
Varying hours
at Brooklyn Expo

Founded 13 years ago by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Bklyn Designs is the borough’s premier design event shining a spotlight on the many talented designers, architects, artists, and artists who reside here. The event features exhibitions, products (shop local!), installations, hands-on demos, a conference program, pop up lounges, as well as food and drinks from Brooklyn’s finest.  $15 for general public, free to the trade.

NYC Design Talks
NYC Design Talks
May 5 – 14, 2016
4:00 – 8:00 pm
at The Cooper Union, Parsons School for Design at The New School, and Fashion Institute of Technology

This robust program includes discussions about design for social impact, the future of fashion employment, cognitive computing, and an evening with Rafael Vinoly and Michael Shvo moderated by Paul Goldberger. Interested in learning about the Hudson Yards project? DDC’s design and construction excellence program? How artists and developers are planning together in Staten Island? Then check out these free talks!

 

For the full calendar of events, visit www.nycxdesign.com.

Read More
New Project birdhouse

MAKE YOUR OWN BIRDHOUSE

New Project gives back to the community and this child-friendly project was just one example. Putting our CNC machine to good use, we created these snap-together birdhouses for a class project to help kids learn sequencing tasks. New Project designed the birdhouses using Rhino and cut the pieces out of a single sheet of MDO plywood using our CNC machine. We then bagged together easy-to-assemble kits for the 1st grade class at PS-10 in Brooklyn. New Project Co-Founder and CEO Dennis Potami visited the class to explain and lead the project. Each child assembled the pieces without nails or glue and then took home the birdhouse they proudly made in class. We really enjoyed developing this fun project that hopefully inspired a new generation of thinkers and builders!

New Project birdhouse
Tim designs the birdhouse in Rhino

New Project birdhouse
The birdhouse kits and assembled sample

New Project birdhouse
Dennis explains the project to the first grade class

New Project birdhouse
Dennis demonstrates the birdhouse assembly

Version 2

The finished product and the happy builders

Read More
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

Read More
Game of Throne : The Exhibit

Game of Thrones: Amsterdam

“Game of Thrones: the Exhibition”, just finished its layover in Amsterdam. This was a large project we designed and fabricated for HBO. We worked in conjunction with Roger Westerman Design, a great exhibition designer here in Brooklyn. Included in the exhibit is an interactive game based on The Battle of Blackwater Bay that Moey, Inc. helped us develop.

Amsterdam was the forth of five stops the exhibit has made. It started its journey in Toronto, then came to New York City. Our crack project manager Terry Glispin then had the pleasure of taking it to São Paulo, Brazil (where he squeaked over to Rio for some surfing). The exhibit’s home in Amsterdam was perhaps the most stunning, considering the venue was a 19th century neo-gothic church!

Check out the stunning placement of The Iron Throne. (All photos courtesy of HBO Netherlands and Game of Thrones).

The Iron Throne in The Posthoornkerk, Amsterdam.

The Iron Throne in The Posthoornkerk, Amsterdam. Game of Thrones

 

Each venue has had various actors from the Game of Thrones series show up. In Amsterdam Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), and The Netherlands’s own Carice van Houten (Melisandre) came to check out the exhibit.

Carice van Houten, Maisie Williams, and Liam Cunningham cutting the opening ribbon. (photo courtesy HBO Netherlands).

Cast from Game of Thrones: Carice van Houten, Maisie Williams, and Liam Cunningham cutting the opening ribbon.

 

Here is Melisandre and Davos testing their archery skills on the interactive game Battle of Blackwater Bay. (Season 2, episode 9, in case you were wondering).

Carice van Houten and Liam Cunningham playing the game Battle of Blackwater Bay. (Photo courtesy of HBO Netherlands).

Cast from Game of Thrones: Carice van Houten and Liam Cunningham playing the game Battle of Blackwater Bay.

 

Here are more great photos of the Game of Thrones exhibition in its Amsterdam home.

The Game of Thrones, The Exhibit in Amsterdam.

The Game of Thrones, The Exhibit in Amsterdam.

The Iron Throne

The Iron Throne. Game of Thrones

Daenerys

Daenerys. Game of Thrones

13-152- 77

The Interactive Game, The Battle of Blackwater Bay.

The Interactive Game, The Battle of Blackwater Bay. Game of Thrones

 

And a little look at the crowd on line for the Game of Thrones Exhibit. Needless to say, it was popular.

Game of Thrones

Read More