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.