Two minds are better than one, especially when it comes to innovative design. Now four pioneering companies found in the A&D Building—Artistic Tile, Ornare, SMEG, and Edward Fields—are blurring the lines between design and mathematics, nature, and fashion with strategic collaborations that expand their product portfolios.
Artistic Tile Partners with Two Pioneering Designers
Artistic Tile recently collaborated with sought-after textile designer, Lori Weitzner, and lauded interior designer, Alison Rose, on two collections that demonstrate the company's passion for design and innovation. Rose drew on history for her new mosaic tile collection, which is named after Euclid, the father of geometry. "This collection was inspired by studying historic tapestries under a microscope. I interpreted the sequence of the fibers into geometric format," says Rose. "The Euclid collection is basically my alphabet—set units designed to work together in an infinite number of ways to tell your story."
Meanwhile, Weitzner's nature-inspired tile collections, River and Forest, utilizes craft techniques such as origami, pleating, and voided velvet. She then reimagines these into stone tile. "Fabric roots are infused into a hard-stone surface and the juxtapositions of that is beautiful, and really resonates," says Weitzner.
Ornare Reimagines Shaker Traditions
Ornare's art director Ricardo Bello Dias searched for inspiration around the globe for his West/East collection, which includes Ikigai, Shaker, and Infinite. Shaker, inspired by the community by the same name, offers a fresh take on the traditional kitchen with a multi-faceted workspace featuring framed doors and modern metal accents. The collection also incorporates elements like the bar system, meant to hang everyday objects on the wall, as is commonplace in Shaker communities. The system functions well in any interior, serving as a bar, storage unit, or a place to display objects and art.
SMEG Expands Line of Artisanal Appliances
The Italian brand SMEG continues its long-standing relationship with the storied fashion house Dolce & Gabbana. Following its line of hand-painted wildly colorful refrigerators, SMEG now offers smaller appliances that draw from the same aesthetic, like toasters, mixers, juicers, and coffee machines. Each appliance is painted with brightly-colored traditional Sicilian folklore motifs such as lemons, flowers, prickly pears, and cherries bordered in triangular motifs known as crocchi. The line, called “Sicily My Love,” is based on the childhood memories of Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, which the duo says center mostly around delicious eats.
Edward Fields Launches New Edition with Bec Brittain
It's not often that a lighting designer collaborates on a premium carpet edition, but that's exactly what Bec Brittain did when she partnered with the luxury flooring brand Edward Fields. For the Taxonomy edition, available at Edward Fields, the acclaimed New York designer drew inspiration from arcane corners of scientific fields, including geology and entomology, calling attention to delicate shapes and patterns found in nature. In conceiving and designing the edition, which features nine hand-tufted designs in wool and silk, Brittain translated her ethereal lighting aesthetic to a new medium, re-contextualizing the science of taxonomy as a means of revelation rather than merely an inquiry of function through classification.
“Working with fibers and textiles demands an expression that completely differs from the way I’d express the same ideas with metal and electricity. It’s just a different relationship to material and form," says Brittain, who notes that Edward Fields is the perfect partner to bring her artistic visions to life given the brand's commitment to the craft of carpet-making and willingness to delve into any design challenge. "Edward Fields is a legendary name in the design world, and Taxonomy is an amazing opportunity, not just to explore a new medium of expression for myself, but to contribute to that legacy," she adds.
The A&D Building, which features 40 showrooms, offers designers and architects the ability to test and touch a multitude of materials from different manufacturers in one convenient location. Whether searching for unique home accents, such as artful appliances, or innovative furnishings, kitchen fixtures, bath products, and appliances, the A&D Building serves as an infinite toolbox when it comes to adding distinguishing details to a space.
Text reprinted with permission from 150E58, the Magazine of the A&D Building. For more information about all products available in the building's 40 showrooms, visit the A&D Building at 150 E. 58th St., New York's best address for kitchens, baths, and fine furnishings or go online at adbuilding.com.