Notes from the Curator | Dear design

Dear design,

This letter is not about me.

 

This letter is not about George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery or Breonna Taylor or Trayvon Martin or Eric Garner or Philando Castile or Sandra Bland or, or, or...

 

This letter is not about the streets of the American cities that were lit aflame this weekend; or in May, 1992; or March, 1965; or May, 1921; or, or, or...

 

This letter is not about the police. It is not about the protesters on the streets, it is not about the violence.

 

This letter is not about politics.

 

My dearest design. This letter is about you. Some people might say that you’re just a pretty face, that you shouldn’t get involved, that all this has nothing to do with you. But we both know that at your very best, you are a representation of humankind’s place in time, and our interaction with this world around us. We also know that at your very worst, you are sheltered or over-privileged or superficial or white-washed or, or, or...

 

This letter is about representation. How can you, design, claim to have the tools to change this world for the better, when you cannot, to date, find a way to include more of the people who inhabit it? How can you celebrate a building that is newly built, when one is burning to the ground down the street? How can you stay silent, or worse, proceed with business as usual, for three full days while our world burns, and our black friends, families, designers, artists and creators suffer?

 

In this time of strife, many of our colleagues are publicly wondering, why are there not more black designers? I challenge you, and them, to look to the actions of our figureheads. Our CEOs, our fortune 500s, our influencers and our media. Some of them are doing what they can for inclusion, but so many more are silent. There is immense beauty in having the strength to use your platform to reach millions with a message of unity, or humility, or frustration. There is humanity in using your privilege to give voice to the oppressed.

 

Dear design: Are you Gensler, or 1stDibs, or Interior Design magazine, or Cooper Hewitt, or Herman Miller, or West Elm, or Dezeen, or, or, or…? Our buildings are on fire, our city is on fire, our world is on fire, our people are on fire.

 

This letter is about you, design, and it is about them, our black friends, families, designers, artists and creators. They deserve more than your silence and passivity. And while you haven’t yet earned the honor, we need more of them.

 

With love and sorrow,
Jean Lin

Textural Transitions

The Dark Arts

Inner Glow

Uncharted Territory

Context Clues | Lightness, 2017

Navigating an uncertain future seems impossibly bleak without celebrating the past from which we’ve built upon. To that end, we want to share some of our favorite Colony moments, memories and musings over the years — some Context Clues — while inviting you to join us in the challenging road ahead.

Lightness: the full spectrum was conceived in August, 2016. Our group of designers sat together and discussed business, design, and the year ahead with excitement and optimism. We decided Lightness was a theme we could all tackle with proficiency and vigor, one that would work for each individual studio and result in a cohesive and compelling whole.

As the year between NY Design Weeks progressed, and Donald Trump was elected and sworn in as President of the United States, Lightness drifted far from our minds. We were enveloped in a darkness created by the divisive and vitriolic tenor of our country and our world. Colony Co-op meetings and correspondence became a place for shared anger, fear and ultimately support.

Thus, in our community — Colony and our many wonderful friends, clients and colleagues — lightness began to take on so much more meaning. A spirit that permeated our process from each individual piece to the exhibit as a whole.

This exhibit is an exploration of Lightness in all its forms and meanings. Forms conceived by studios strong in their design vernacular, yet always pushing themselves to explore further. And meanings that continue to unveil themselves to us as we grow our community, our businesses and find our footing in this new world.

 

We hope this exhibit will be a source of inspiration and levity. A reminder for all of us to continue to seek substantive beauty, love and lightness in our world, our communities and our lives.

white garden detail
KWH-Arc-oak
KWH-Arc-marble

Context Clues | Our favorite Holiday

Navigating an uncertain future seems impossibly bleak without celebrating the past from which we’ve built upon. To that end, we want to share some of our favorite Colony moments, memories and musings over the years — some Context Clues — while inviting you to join us in the challenging road ahead.

Colony Halloweens: costumes are ALWAYS required.
Halloween 2016 Invite
ColonyHalloween_2017_3
worrellyeung
thundercloud

Context Clues | Spring 2014

Navigating an uncertain future seems impossibly bleak without celebrating the past from which we’ve built upon. To that end, we want to share some of our favorite Colony moments, memories and musings over the years — some Context Clues — while inviting you to join us in the challenging road ahead.

COLONY 2014

Allied Maker
Flat Vernacular
Hiroko Takeda
KWH Furniture
Meg Callahan
Moving Mountains
Vonnegut/Kraft
Assembly
Egg Collective
Sharktooth
Sit and Read
Token
UM Project
Zoë Mowat

Our founding group saw what Colony could be before it was, and so many of them continue to grace our gallery floor.

Notes from the Curator: Spring 2020

Exactly six years ago, I signed a lease for a commercial space at 324 Canal Street. I spent the spring and summer of 2014 sitting alone in this giant room, surrounded by beauty that until then, only inhabited my dreams.

 

I sat alone for months, unsure if you all would come share this beauty with me.

 

What Colony has become since then is so much greater than the sum of those six years, and while I’ve struggled in the past week to find the words to properly express my feelings, Colony’s founding ethos of community and lasting beauty has only rung louder in my ears. You have all made Colony what it is today, and I am so grateful.

 

I am grateful, I am scared, I am determined.

 

I am determined to keep working towards those founding goals, alone in this giant, beautiful room. But I’m certain now that when the time comes, you will all join me again.

 

With love and hope,

Jean Lin

Elements Garden

Elements Garden

 

Challenging what it means to be a ‘New York-based’ studio, A Space created this work over the past two years while traveling the globe from Turkey to Vietnam and Japan. The pieces center on fusion of techniques both learned and reinterpreted while creating in these locales. 

 

Created in a constant state of movement, exploration and experimentation, the work explores the concepts of natural elements, environmental awareness and transformation.

 

 

RSVP Here

March 19 | 7-9pm 

Colony | 324 Canal St. 2nd Fl. 

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