in the shop

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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New Project Official Housewarming

On Friday, June 9, we officially christened the shop with a fantastic open house party. It was a perfect evening and we’d like to thank all of our friends, family, clients, and colleagues for helping us inaugurate our new space. We were fortunate to have perfect weather and an auspicious strawberry moon to accompany the celebration.

Kimchi Taco Truck pulled up to the delivery entrance on 24th Street and dished out killer tacos and wings. DJ Econ dropped beats all night to set the friendly and festive vibe. And with so many former employees, neighbors, and clients in the house, it felt like a bit of a reunion. We were excited to show everyone around our new expanded shop which allowed plenty of room for the adults to connect and for the rug rats to go wild.

If you weren’t able to join us but would still like to visit the shop, please drop us a line and we’ll set it up. And be sure to watch for news of the net party. This one was so fun we’re already planning the next one!

The shop is looking good!
The calm before the storm

Dennis and Friends
CEO Dennis Potami greeting Ali Joulalee and family in the office

DJ Econ and Kelly
New Project’s Ethan Eunson-Conn, aka DJ Econ, sharing trade secrets with Kelly Forsyth

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CEO Patrick Barth visiting with Owen, one of the many candidates for cutest kid in the shop

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New Project alumnus Dave Stanfill and family stopped by to say hi to Ade Sanya and the rest of the crew

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Lee Gillespie, another New Project alum, and his super cutester, Zeno

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New Project’s CNC master Jay Clement and his little fabricator, Cooper

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Dean Markosian and David Levy from the AMNH Exhibitions team chat with New Project’s Kelly Forsyth and Aaron Freed

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Savannah Wyatt, New Project superstar James Marsella, and Dennis checking out the party action

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Jason Hughes and Jon Herron talking metal, tacos, and more

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Dennis and Doug Moore debate the merits of red cups

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DJ Econ and DJ Ella dropping beats

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Dennis and Eric Zamore posing for the paparazzi

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The end of a beautiful evening

To see more pics, please visit the New Project Facebook event page.

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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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A New Sculpture in Stamford

After talking to several metal shops, Louis Gesualdi decided he needed someone special to fabricate a large steel sculpture for one of his clients. The president of Stamford, CT-based Gesualdi Construction reached out to New Project after checking out our website and finding precisely what he was looking for. Gesualdi was working on Synchrony Financial’s corporate headquarters in Stamford, CT where the firm had engaged artist William C. Seepaul Jr. to create a large sculpture for its corporate campus. Seepaul had translated the consumer financial services company’s minimalist logo into three dimensions, enlivening it with a dynamic ribbon spiraling around bright yellow columns.

When asked about the design, Seepaul stated, “the idea was to create a sculpture that would embody the philosophy of what Synchrony Financial represents. The ribbon is an element that I introduced to illustrate movement. The rising form shows the upward path, an ever moving body that can adapt, yet remain strong, hence the material (steel). The ribbon is a visual representation of musical notation, symphonic harmony, elegance and balance that can be as subtle and simple as it is complex.”

The work, entitled Symphony, was Seepaul’s first large-scale public sculpture. “The mere fact that this sculpture was to be installed in a public place meant that a highly-skilled team of fabricators had to translate the engineering plans and make a tangible, beautiful, and sound piece,” said Seepaul. “There were over 25 sections to the ribbon that had multiplanar curves that had to be painstakingly welded by New Project.  This was in addition to New Project fabricating the columns, and the support lattice as well as finishing, prep, and painting then ultimately installing. Excellent work!”

Gesualdi Construction gave New Project approximately 4 months to translate Seepaul’s watercolor renderings and engineering drawings into a full-fledged steel sculpture to be installed at a June ceremony on Synchrony Financial’s corporate campus. After the steel was precisely cut, the pieces comprising the ribbon were rolled into shape and the entire sculpture was assembled, welded, and painted. We then transported the 17-foot tall sculpture to the site where, over the course of two days, we bolted the piece to its concrete foundation, welded the spiral segment to the sculpture’s columns, and made final surface touch ups to ensure a pristine finish.

Louis Gesualdi was pleased with the results. “It’s fantastic! It came out better than great!” the contractor stated when asked how the piece was ultimately received. In addition to the final fabrication of the sculpture, Gesualdi was responsible for the redesign and rebranding of three large building on Synchrony’s campus, juggling multiple details in a fast-paced environment. Having worked with artists before, Gesualdi had previously overseen the fabrication of outdoor sculpture, although nothing quite as challenging as Symphony. “Everyone was exhaling, glad that it all went well,” remarked Gesualdi.

Symphony sculpture rendering by Artist William Seepaul Jr.

Rendering of Symphony sculpture by artist William Seepaul Jr.

I-beams are welded in the shop to form the base for the sculpture.

I-beams are welded to create the sculpture’s base.

Brett welds from his perch in the shop.

Brett welds the sculpture from his perch.

The sculpture is primed in the shop before being painted.

The sculpture is primed before painting.

The spiral is test-fitted on to the columns before all components are welded together.

The spiral is test-fitted to before welding the components together.

Careful measurements are made to perfectly align the spiral components.

Meticulous measurements are made to ensure perfect alignment of the spiral segments.

Kelly grinding the weld to give a clean edge to the spiral.

Kelly grinds the welds to give the spiral a clean edge.

The sculpture is crated for protection after receiving its final coat of paint.

The columns are crated to protect the finish after painting.

Pino supervises as the sculpture is loaded onto the truck.

Pino supervises as the sculpture is loaded onto the truck.

The sculpture is crated and ready for transport to Stamford for installation.

The sculpture is loaded and ready for transport to its permanent home in Stamford.

Brett ensures the welds are perfect as the sculpture is installed on site in Stamford.

Brett touches up the welds during installation.

SYMPHONY-0034 image by W Seepaul

The final installation and a pristine finish. Photo by William Seepaul Jr.

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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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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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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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New Project

New Project Enters the Blogosphere

Welcome to New Project’s blog. We hope to make our blog as exciting and varied as our projects. We do so many odd, diverse, and multifaceted jobs it’s sometimes difficult to get a clear picture of who we are. Hopefully this blog will shed light on our projects, processes, capabilities, and especially our amazing team. We’ll show some jobs from the past, post photos of our employees as they hop around the globe, and even include a blooper or two. Stay tuned.

Patrick, Dennis, and Zach holding down the fort.

Patrick, Dennis, and Zach holding down the fort.

 

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