Every year a new class of professionals storms the scene. We sifted through the perspectives and personalities to find the five up-and-coming interior practices and designers that should be on your radar.
For the six studio members of Atelier Barda, architecture is an intuitive art form shaped by precedents from design and other creative practices. Many of the studio’s projects are subtly suffused with allusions to the fine arts: White tiling in the SSENSE Headquarters recalls Jean-Pierre Raynaud’s gridded installations; the Résidence Villeneuve’s storefront living space evokes Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks; and the Gauthier House takes its inspiration from the minimalism of Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Mangold—two favorites of the clients.
References to art history are testaments to more than just aesthetic interest. According to studio director Kevin Botchar, Atelier Barda “works through artistic and cinematographic references because they’re part of a collective unconscious.” They may also reflect the studio’s broader effort to achieve a more enduring kind of design. As Botchar put it, “We are in search of a sort of timelessness in our projects.”
New York City
NILE’s project is modernism, which at first seems a curious choice in 2019. But according to the New York-based firm’s founder, Nile Greenberg, the original ethos and ideas of prewar modernism can be easily applied to today’s context. “Beauty, function, and politics are all the same thing,” Greenberg told AN. “I love the Smithsons’ phrase ‘loving neutrality.’ If a space is neutral, it can be anything for anyone.” Like that of Mies and early Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, NILE’s modernism takes universal qualities and tailors them to specific people or situations, hence the word loving. Neutrality, rather than minimalism, which is frequently restrictive, allows flexibility for individuality against a background free of identity. In an age when inclusivity and openness are being advanced in all arenas of culture, NILE looks to the democratic ideals of modernism to define new ways of living in the 21st century. A veteran of MOS, SO – IL, and Leong Leong, Greenberg has completed a store for clothing retailer 6397 in downtown Manhattan and a house in Denver, and this fall two books will hit the shelves: The Advanced School of Collective Feeling, by Greenberg and Matthew Kennedy, and Two Sides of the Border, which Greenberg coedited with Tatiana Bilbao.