infiniti house of inspiration '08
the apartment designs event for infiniti car company in pebble beach
Interior Design, event
- in collaboration with hearst publishing and chiat/day we were asked to re-define people's perception of the infiniti car brand.
our take was that cars do not simply live by themselves, driving at break neck pace in the desert as they are often depicted in commercials. they are driven, inhabited by people, sometimes animals, filled with life. they even fit within a context, near a home, in a neighborhood...
it is that dialogue that we wanted to spark. and so we did. building a neighborhood under a tent at the world-famous pebble beach concours d'elegance in in pebble beach, california. designing and building a home, fully functional, with a driveway and garden, ready for a party was no easy task in just a few weeks. but we delivered an experience like no other that day. which you can see from these pictures.
welcome one and all to infiniti's house of inspiration!
what is it about life these days that conspires to hurry us along?
technology, a smaller world and the need to keep up are all accomplices when it comes to making us feel the need for speed. but does that necessarily mean that the quality of the experiences we so crave should be ignored or even take a back seat? in our small design niche, we all work to indeed make the world around us more digestible, each in our own way, but we must not forget to mind the details, never underestimating our customers' finely-tuned understanding of our intentions. the curves on a car door, a stitch on a garment, a simple wall color, all are choices that have been considered, in order to make a difference in how the car is driven, the shirt is worn and the bedroom slept in. these choices are all part of what i like to call the considered life; a place and time in which no decision is left to fate.
and what is inspiration other than a considered moment, being able to look around as well as being able to look inward and find a relationship between the two, so that an finally idea pops out, seemingly out of nowhere. It is, many believe, simply chemistry, inspiration is. but if you live a considered life, you know that it is more than chemistry, it is something that you can willfully, and hopefully do, create. inspiration is not something that happens to you, inspiration is something that you create. the essence of the considered life is action, it is the power of me, of my ability not to rely on external factors, but to take my life into my own hands and make things happen. inspiration is no less a product of that self-propelling ability than the will and desire to cook a nice steak.
of course, inspiration can be imagined to come from a nether place, a place that is not within. and sometimes, for that inspiration to come through, we need translators and interpreters. and we choose architecture or design, music or art, love or plumbing to bring into reality what some might call divine, others nature, others still simply calling it hard work but what is difficult to doubt is that inspiration is within us, and we need help accessing it. infiniti's house of inspiration is but one expression of that considered life, i beg of you to reach deep within and find yours.
press: dwell magazinefinancial content
- opening night with a few invited v.i.p.'s, i was honored to be able to speak to owners, dealers and enthusiasts about where the exhibit and the process of telling a story within an exhibition such as this.
We were tasked to conceptualize and build a marketplace of products and services both for people walking down the street hit with the desire to do something and the providers of such services. With simply a company name as starting scope, In The Mood, we invented an iOS app called the Mood Machine, able to put you in touch, geo-located, with the people closest to you offering what you are looking for. This will be a revolutionary platform allowing makers and consumers to get in touch with each other in the real world, without the need a middle-man.
The ability to browse and select your chosen activity in only 4 steps was crucial. As was the ability to do it from a simple, thumb-powered button, giving the user the feel of an actual machine. Which we are actually considering building...
Senior designer on this project is Jonas ErikssonBranding, Creative Direction, User Interface Design2013
there is perhaps no greater honor than to be asked to update a brand you created, well, maybe apart from being asked to spit bucket duty on the beyoncé tour, but that's beside the point. the point is that the good people at YELO SPA had to move from their current location, in the shadow of the hearst building to the much more appropriate neighborhood of such luminary brands as tiffany, louis vuitton, chanel, dior and breitling. which is when we jumped in and offered not only to design the new space, on the 12th floor of the incredible art deco building at 5 east 57th street but to also revive the message and look of the brand. below are our team's effort!Architecture, Branding, Creative Direction2012
some architectural projects in progressArchitecture, Interior Design2011
working with aging brand CITRA-SOLV tonupdate their brand under the gaze of american express' cameras.Branding, Marketing, Television2010
combining 3 smaller apartments into one at one of new york city's most coveted uptown addresses, we delivered a stunning new dwelling on the 61st floor of the metropolitan tower. every single room is constructed so that the postcard view of central park is the star. with a built-in wraparound sofa, a secret door in the solid walnut library and distributed surround sound all over the home, this project is an ode to the 80s during which the building was erected.
suited for a family of 4 with 2 children, the communal living spaces stands in between the master suite and the kids' rooms, hidden behind the aforementioned trap door in the library, thereby providing a buffer of sight and sound.
the kitchen and dining area is the only ones wrapped in waxed concrete thereby giving it a theatrical feel, especially when see from the rest of the apartment which is clad in bleached pine and subdued colors.Interior Design, Architecture2009
to name and brandBranding2010
creation of a spa brandInterior Design, Branding, Marketing2008
after almost 6 months of planning, the countdown finally came to a halt and we made good on delivering a world's first in the form of a new car model being dramatically unveiled at one of the world's premier shows. without a car. the pitch at the infiniti's nashville headquarters a few months again went a little something like this: "what if we welcomed people inside an empty tent!..." i said to a room full of executives. "what if we didn't and say we did? and actually what if you got out of this building and never came back?!" i was prepared to hear. but no, they listened, attentively, at the seemingly crazy plan we at theapt had devised while trying to outdo ourselves from last year's house of inspiration.
agencies like mine usually waltz into conference rooms like theirs arguing that positioning is the single most important part of marketing but we omit to make clear that saying such things positions us as "holders of a truth" for our clients. truth is a dangerous concept for a creative agency to lay claim to as it is one that, to paraphrase a great man, cannot possibly be written in ink, only found in nature. which got us thinking... truth only reveals itself when one gives up all preconceived ideas such as the ideal of a supposed infallible process to sell more cars. that is what we wanted to propose.
envisioned as a powerful and stirring experience, the infiniti journey of inspiration is emotionally involved within the world of the car company. welcomed into the tent, we are shown, not told about, the muses and motivations that have, over the past 20 years, guided the designers and engineers behind every single vehicle. we encounter face-to-face, not are simply presented with, the creativity and inventiveness with which problems are solved and opportunities taken. we, finally, are surprised and delighted by the revelation that infiniti has apparently given away the sources of its own inspiration. by way of a technology called mapping projection, invented and patented by our good friends at klip collective the guests will be surrounded 360° by visual and aural expressions of the brand in a way that has never before been achieved. the goal is absolute involvement. the goal is to tell the story of a myriad journeys taken in the cars. the goal is to invite and inspire.
and that is what we did.Interior Design, event, Film2009
the client wanted to erase the awkward taste that cosi, pret-a-manger and other chipotles left in our collective mouths and create something new, something that felt real to the eyes as well as to the palate. the basis are the amazing sandwiches (renamed swiches) that guided our thoughts to bring an old-fashioned neighborhood café quality to a wide audience; with a hint of our trademark romantic minimalism of course. the concept from the very beginning was that the very finest ingredients would find themselves sandwiched and pressed in delightful concoctions prepared by the owner himself. so, naming was the first task at hand: a simple contraction of 'sandwich' as well as a handy way to remind people to adjust their expectations: swich. from there, the interiors flowed, simply reproduce-able from new york to seattle by way of amsterdam. we decided that, since the 'swich' as it came to be called, was the star of the show, the interior palette should be as simple as possible. look for a swich to open at a corner near you!Interior Design, Branding2008
a first time developer entered our offices a while back and said: "i just bought six buildings in brooklyn, what should i do with them?" our answer was, after having carefully studied the demographic information for the building and the surrounding areas, "why not take advantage of the social network movement that is sweeping the world?" the entire planet it seems is in front of the computers, logging in to make new friends. but what was the original social network? that's right, neighbors.
together with aguayo & heubener, the property's exclusive marketing and sales agent, we set on creating a community, a place where one would easily share a cup of sugar and more. with each amenity belonging to one building or another, one has to travel next door or across the street in order to engage in the various activities offered. and when time came to choose a name for this community, it rolled off the tongue as the first thing we say when we meet new people: hello.since this property was directly offered to people who most likely were already involved in the online social network scene, we focused our marketing efforts where we knew they would find us. each building got its own mySpace page:
each with their particular likes, dislikes and centered around the amenity featured within.we also wanted to peel away the curtain to unveil the process behind the creation of such a project by making some really short films:
and giving it a flickr stream documenting the journey:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/80968374@N00/Interior Design, Branding, Marketing2008
a love story set in paris during the second world war, marguerite draws inspiration from one of the greatest of romantic novels, la dame aux camélias by alexandre dumas.
marguerite is the beautiful and notorious mistress of a high ranking german officer. armand is a young musician half her age who falls obsessively in love with her. their dangerous love story is played out against the background of occupied paris.
marguerite will be the world premiere of a collaboration between the creators of les misérables and miss saigon and the oscar award-winning musical legend michel legrand. we had the great privilege of being asked to design the branding and marketing materials for the season run in london's west end.
there comes a point in every agency's life at which one can't deal with clients anymore and we must follow our bliss. the opportunity to convert the first ymca in the united states' basketball court and suspended running track into an 7,000 square-foot, 5-bedroom romantic minimalist pleasure was such a bliss. the building was in disrepair from years of abandonment and needed some love. The Apartment decided to invest in the top two floors and turn them into a showcase of all the things we did best, from architecture to decor to designing our own wallpaper and furniture. every detail was slaved over, new building techniques were tried, an indoor garden was installed, a 30-foot long kitchen was designed and built, a 12-person home theater was imagined and realized...
all the while preserving the past by keeping the original basketball flooring in the private areas of the apartment, we got everything we always wanted to try on client projects and never could. it was a design lab of sorts.Interior Design, Architecture, Product Design2008
we, at the apartment, are intent on producing our own inspiration by travelling to lands unseen as much as possible. these films are what we bring back.Art Direction, Cinematography, Film2013
various pieces for various clientsGraphic Design2010
re-brand an iconic new york restaurantGraphic Design, Branding2010
paul hardy fashion showGraphic Design, Fashion, Installation Design2010
hands-down one of our absolute favorite projects! the client was cindy gallop, international woman of mystery inspiration, who didn't exactly have much time, as the chairwoman of advertising giant BBH, to lay out her new apartment in the converted locker rooms of the first ymca in the u.s. but she did have time to inspire us... her brief was simple: "at night, i want to feel like i'm in a shanghai nightclub..." and so our proposal was equally simple: "what if you lived inside a lacquered chinese box?..." to our amazement, she was game so we knew our next idea would pass as well, no demising walls whatsoever, just a network of two-track curtains which could be used to make rooms on-the-fly. of course, there was the matter of the 300 pairs of heels that ms. gallop cherishes as art and so they were treated as such, displayed in the own light box, all along the width of the apartment. this project was conceptual in nature at first but yielded results beyond our wildest dreams in terms of comfort of living and luxury.Interior Design, Product Design2008
master-planing an eco-city in the ukraineArchitecture, Branding, Urbanism2010
brand a real estate companyGraphic Design, Branding2010
one bedroom apartmentArchitecture, Interior Design2010
branding of a dead musicianBranding, Graphic Design, Motion Graphics2010
on a cold december night in late 18th century amsterdam...
those were the first words read by the first potential buyers of a new condominium project in hoboken, new jersey. why? because on this project for remi companies, a growing developer in the garden state, we had inherited a building that had to adhere to community architectural standards, which meant that this large, 128-unit behemoth looked like an anachronistic aberration for a new construction. the name had also been chosen by the developer. so instead of fighting our hand, we took advantage of it. we invented a mythology that revolved around a fictional idealist dutch architect named joost van der rohr who, on a cold december, feverishly took to his drafting table and, in a fit of inspiration, drew the plans for a utopian society he would come to call velocitus. centuries later, his american descendants razed his house in amsterdam and found those plans buried underground. ecstatic, they decided to build their great-great-great grandfather's dreams, where else but in new jersey. and they would search far and wide for more of joost's heirs to inhabit it.a poster was then sent to prospective buyers asking them if they were part of the family followed by a telegram two weeks later making them aware that they were and inviting them to the groundbreaking of the project. what happened is that people did not feel pressured to buy real estate, they did not feel like they were in the usual square footage race, they simply belonged. and by the time the offer was made clear, they were already hooked. they could also continue the experience online and in a motion graphic piece on the site.
this project is a study of a client taking a risk with an unconventional approach, and it paying off!Interior Design, Branding, Marketing2008
it's not everyday you get the call to furnish a church for living. we jumped on a plane to london and dedicated ourselves to the task at hand by first looking at the fact that a family with two children would live here. this needed to be a friendly house as well as mindful of the once-sacred ground. by bringing in a lot of modern pieces of art, we subdued the seriousness while at the same time leaving the old stained glass windows intact so as to consider them as art objects as well. a color code was assigned to each room by way of solid rugs. simple furnishings were brought in as not to compete with the incredibly detailed shell.Interior Design2008
a range of bags for storefront for art & architectureGraphic Design2010
to brand cindy gallop's everyday and not-so everyday needsGraphic Design2010
an exhibition and presentation around the subject of televisuality as it pertains to architecture's role in the television landscape.Confectionary Arts, Interior Design2010
small apartment renovationInterior Design, Architecture2010
during the night of icff 2008, we introduced a line of six different, well, stools. our point is this: everyday, we get told to reuse this, to save that, not to waste, not to stand idle while the planet dies... and all this while we have at our disposal one of the best, if not the most sophisticated recycling machine ever invented: the human body. and so, we asked why aren't we using what we have at the ready to resolve this crisis. and we did. the answer was inside of us all the time my friends and that is why we are proud to present the first furniture collection made out of human (un)waste.as you can see above, our designers have worked overtime to bring the future. each theaptPEEP, because of his or her diet, has created a unique piece that is a demonstration of how far the human spirit can go if pushed to the limit.
"let's start a movement!" that was the battlecry at the party which is why we invited the hundreds of heros who were lucky enough to attend on saturday night to show that they gave a shit by taking a shit... at theaptPOOPSHOOT (http://theaptpoopshoot.tumblr.com/) see how we can all come together and make a difference.Product Design2008
the ideal soho loft conversionInterior Design2010
after a while, even the best of intentions get old. that's exactly how we felt about our own identity, which had carried us from 2000 to 2007.
in the re-design of our identity, we choose a vernacular system that embodied the notion of commonality. as such, all print pieces (except envelopes) come packaged in bound pads of thin sheets of paper" reminiscent of classic writing tablets. the writing tablet symbology is extended to our new website where all information (studio projects, blog entries, etc.) is compartmentalized into dimensional modules designed to look like stacks of paper.
the new logo (featuring Lineto’s Akkurat) with its modified second t that has a serif-like ball terminal, was meant to evoke the considered combination of a neutral sans-serif typeface with decorative-like punctuation. the mix of styles also evokes an obvious comparison of contrasts, a common facet of our design practice.
all variants of identity , collateral feature an abbreviated list of tag categories derived from our cultural design portal, words that not only function to organize information on our website (for example, JESUS refers to all things religious), but also succinctly describes our cultural interests and informs our design practice. each business card tablet is a stack of 12 different cards (with different combinations of website tags) repeated 8 times (96 cards per tablet) as a consequence of the structure, individuals get a different card depending on the position in the stack.
except for the business cards, all print pieces also feature a digitized (set at 72 dpi) re-work of William Morris’ Acanthus wallpaper, a decorative element that stands in sharp contrast to the use of stark typography and not-so-subtly hints at an interior design element commonly found in an apartment.
winner design 100 step inside design magazine. self-promotion category:
the newest member of theaptFAMILY is here
meet at the apartment at 101 crosby street in new york city, the site of our former retail design store and subsequent agency, is the inaugural location in a collection of state-of-the-art creative meeting spaces launching around the world over the next five years (london and Dubai are currently in the planning stages). meet is a collaboration between us and new york based marketing agency, electric artists who is an equity partner in meet along with sara and marc schiller, founders of the wooster collective. quite a team, uh?
we've been working on this for a while and the basic concept is that people, everyday, need inspiration. in our 10 year-old experience, nobody moreso than companies whose wheels are often so slow to turn that they lose sight of the goals, creative and otherwise, that set them on their mission to begin with. and that's why we're here, to provide a newly-designed space as a new riff on the idea of the blank canvas to wake up the corporations in question and a community to get them inspired again.Interior Design2008
theaptDINNER is a web show we organize periodically.Television, Culinary Arts, Multimedia2010
a series of magazines promoting theaptLIFEGraphic Design, Marketing, Photography2010
a sampling of the press accumulated over the yearsPublishing2010
these are samples of work, all together now.Architecture, Branding, Design2010