Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 3/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
WHO: Erik Bruce.
WHAT: Drapery that defies fussiness.
HOW: "Working with Proun Space Studio on 'Mies in Berlin' at the Museum of Modern Art, we referred back to the red velvet curtain at the Barcelona Pavilion—but rendered ours in aluminum-coated polyester."
Architects traditionally detest them. Interior designers love them or hate them. But everybody respects the work of the Mary Bright studio, which uses materials both natural and unorthodox to create couture curtains as well as hangings and dividers that are unusually architectonic.
Originally a milliner, the late Mary Bright made a career change after she was asked to design a 500-yard orange pleated room divider for Ellen Barkin's New York loft. Soon after, commissions from heavyweight architectural and interior design firms began rolling in. Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Tsao & McKown Architects, and Diana Viñoly Interiors are among the names that Bright's studio has collaborated with on restaurant and residential projects, both before and after her death in 2002.
A former costume and set designer, Erik Bruce has carried on her work. "We take a form that functions in a certain way," he says, "and make it beautiful."