We Are The Market, Jun 1, 2012
by Sameer Reddy
Since its inception in 2009, BOFFO has been building bridges between the design, fashion, architecture and art worlds by fostering eye-catching, ephemeral collaborations that invite the public to discover bespoke design environments. Founded by Faris Al-Shathir and Gregory Sparks, the non-profit is best known for its pairings of emerging designers and architects to create pop-up stores that push the boundaries of retail design.
With its latest project, however, BOFFO decided to approach the world of interiors from a different angle, offering up their version of a show house. Interior designer and artist Andrew Yes was tasked with transforming four loft apartments, set in the former PS. 12 school building, into environments that explore the themes of Work, Play, Nature and Future. Describing the project, Yes said, “A lot of show houses are pretty conservative. Our goal was to create a new kind of show space that created relationships between established and lesser-known designers… Boffo likes to do things big and this space offered us the perfect canvas.”
USM Modular Furniture Installation designed by Ghiora
Dressed with contributions from 108 designers and artists each room presents a distinct mood that resonates with its title. Suspended trees from NY-based floral design company Ovando, a fragrant cedar chest by Harry Allan and Yes’ coral-and-crystal sculptures are a few of the elements that set the tone for Nature, while a Jenny Holzer LED sculpture and faceted furniture by Ramon Esteve for the Spanish firm Vondom help to animate the Future. A massive stained-glass house by Tom Fruin dominates Play, while a modular furniture system by Ghiora Aharoni Design Studio for USM rises into a dramatic, cantilevered tower in Work.
One of the featured furniture rooms within the exhibit
Each environment offers a treasure trove of items, both big and small, to keep visitors captivated, and seen together, the Show house illustrates the ability of design to bring a living space to life. It’s an interesting shift away from the fashion-centric projects that garnered much media attention in 2011, but fashion fanatics can relax: this Fall, BOFFO will begin the next round of Building Fashion with a new slate of designers and architects.