It was announced last year that Calvin Klein had entered into a four-year agreement with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts that will allow the fashion company to license Warhol’s art across its collections and activations. The agreement offers Calvin Klein’s Chief Creative Officer Raf Simons access to the full breadth of Warhol’s creations—including never-before-published works.
New Project was tapped to execute the latest iteration of Calvin Klein’s partnership with the Foundation: Warhol’s Silver Clouds reimagined by Simons as a site-specific installation for the 654 Madison Avenue flagship.
The silver Mylar balloons were printed with images used in the Spring 2018 CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC runway collection (including some from the Death and Disaster series as well as portraits of Warhol pals Dennis Hopper and Sandra Brant). Special fans were painted to match the bright yellow interior scaffolding and installed to ensure the balloons, filled with an exacting measure of helium and air, floated through the space just as they did in Warhol’s Factory and Leo Castelli Gallery decades ago.
New Project undertook several tests, both in the shop and in the store under the cloak of night, to determine the specific mixture needed to fill the balloons, to observe their behavior, and to add features to the space to tune the air flow patterns.
The installation has been a huge success, bringing smiles to patrons who freely interact with the floating works of art. Be sure to catch it while you can—like all things pop, the installation is fleeting. On view at 654 Madison Avenue through February 28, 2018.
After figuring out how to direct the air flow, we customized an armada of fans.
And poles and fixtures.
We inflated and tested the balloons in the shop office first.
Once the Silver Clouds were installed, the store was transformed.
But a lot of adjustments went into the process to make sure the balloons behaved as we wanted. Check out this time lapse video of the overnight test to see what the balloons do when they think we aren’t watching!
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
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.
Taking her for a test spin
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.
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.
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:
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.
May 6 – 8, 2016
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
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.
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!
Tim designs the birdhouse in Rhino
The finished product and the happy builders
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.
think & build
“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).
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.
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).
Here are more great photos of the Game of Thrones exhibition in its Amsterdam home.
And a little look at the crowd on line for the Game of Thrones Exhibit. Needless to say, it was popular.