family ties

VOLUME TWO | FAMILY TIES

For a universal societal experience, we all have staggeringly different perspectives on family — what it is and what it means to us. With Volume Two | Family Ties, we won’t purport to convey all of these perspectives, rather ponder how they differ, overlap and interact in hopes of turning our disparate views into a shared understanding.

 

Serving as an arbitrary starting point, my perspective on family is self-contradictory. Complexity and simplicity, permanence and loss, support and alienation, conflicting sentiments that coexist and should be a source of tension, but provide a grounded balance instead. It’s the messiness that makes it home.

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EMERGENCE FINALE | OUR NEW DESIGNERS

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As we conclude Volume One | Emergence, thirteen weeks, one breakup, four pivotal pieces, one recovering addict, three design parallels and a beloved client later, we want to introduce a new number: 17. This is the number of designers that make up the 2017-2018 Colony designer line up.

 

Of these 17, eight have been with us from the word go, and four are brand new. I’m so excited and pleased to be embarking on the next year with these talented studios, old and new, and I invite you to discover their work both here online and in person at Colony.

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EMERGENCE 12 | THE PROCESS OF PRODUCTION

On October 20, 2017 - Madeleine Parsons
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Putting together a cohesive collection requires a calculated sense of control. From hand-blackened brass to cerused oak; the meticulously designed details of a piece define its quality and integrity. Whatever path an Independent American design studio takes in its growth, the control they maintain over production defines their ongoing success and the future of both the business and the work.

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EMERGENCE 11 | HISTORY OF AN ICON

On October 13, 2017 - Ali Morris
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It was in the mid-century that the Palm became a true design icon. In 1937 renowned interior decorator Dorothy Draper boldly covered the walls of the Arrowhead Springs Hotel in San Bernardino, California with her now iconic banana leaf pattern Brazilliance. Once known as “The Swankiest Spot in America,” the hotel has been empty for over 60 years, but those who have seen inside report that all the Dorothy Draper remnants are still in place.

 

In 1942, just three years after the opening of the Arrowhead, Hollywood interior designer Don Loper was hired to help decorate the yet to be built New Wing of the Beverly Hills Hotel. He designed the Martinique print specifically for the hotel’s Fountain Coffee Room, where it can still be seen today.

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EMERGENCE 10 | DRAWING PARALLELS

On October 6, 2017 - Madeleine Parsons

Lest we forget the importance of parallels between design disciplines, we have only to recall our foundation programs in school. Students of architecture were busy in Statics while those in the fashion department found themselves sewing in Construction class.

 

As students of design, we study shape; the structure of it, the transformations it can undergo, and the tension it can endure. And as the guiding elements of our separate disciplines retain their relation, so too does the work.

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EMERGENCE 9 | PIVOTAL PIECES

On September 29, 2017 - Samir Nandwani
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Like having a book on the New York Times bestseller list, many independent designers can credit a single design as a catalyst of positive momentum for their studios. Be it press coverage, awards or placement into pop culture relevance, wide acclaim for a new piece is as rewarding as it is informative.

 

While clever design choices in the studio lead to these break-out pieces, it’s the choices made after recognition that are often the most interesting and poignant. Some choose to ride the momentum full steam ahead, capitalizing on familiar work that has proven successful, while others take their new found success and go against what is expected, trying something new.

 

Regardless of the direction taken, there’s no question that this initial breakthrough has a profound impact on the future of these designers and celebrating these firsts, supports their growing careers and evolving work.

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EMERGENCE 8 | RISING ABOVE THE NOISE

On September 22, 2017 - Emily Pellerin
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I’ve recently begun an MFA in Art Writing. Through a new art vernacular, I’m learning how to describe art and experience beauty in specific ways. I’m finding comfort in how this specificity is beginning to validate my tastes amidst the deafening noisiness of today’s nebula of opinion, content, images, and “news.”

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EMERGENCE 7 | THREE QUESTIONS, MKCA

On September 15, 2017 - Jean Lin
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Before we had a fully functioning showroom, weeks before our official opening exhibit, architect Michael Chen rang Colony’s doorbell. He was working on a massively impressive townhouse on the Upper East Side and when I explained the concept of Colony, our cooperative model that was still in its infancy and untested, Michael immediately “got it.” Not only was he our first client, Michael was the first designer to give me hope that this crazy idea might actually work. Colony very literally would not be what it is today without MKCA.

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EMERGENCE 6 | RECOVERY

On September 8, 2017 - Jean Lin
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As is true with many things, we all start in the same place when it comes to drugs and alcohol. We all remember a time as kids when they were an exotic unknown, something mysterious and a little dangerous. Over time, however, our relationships with these substances evolve and change, and we diverge. Some of us become familiar, some grow weary, and some become dependent.

 

My friend K is like so many of us in so many ways. He’s an artist, a designer and a small business owner. He’s been driven by an instinctual need to create for his entire life. K is also a recovering addict and has been sober for 16 years.

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EMERGENCE 5 | SELF REFLECTIVE

On September 1, 2017 - Madeleine Parsons
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While exhilarating, the physical output for Colony’s annual NYCxDesign Week exhibition each May is also exhausting. All of the work put into our 2016 show, The Collections 02, including showroom layout, install, and event management was being tackled by a team of two – Jean and myself. In addition to exhibit prep, I was battling an impending breakup and finding release in the physical aspects of install at Colony – live wiring chandeliers, tracing then painting wall circles, suspending a dining chair over a tambour side table; I could go on.

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