"In architecture, in buildings, in a restaurant for instance, we extract the story."
In the latest from Crane.tv, New York City is examined through a miniseries highlighting the work of David Rockwell in celebration of the Rockwell Group’s 30th anniversary. The retrospective collection visits the original Nobu restaurant, industrial Shinola store, innovative Chef’s Club, and groundbreaking Imagination Playground, while Rockwell shares his approach to creating spaces that are responsive to their occupants.
In honor of Rockwell Group’s 30th year of design, Forbes has published a profile on its founder, American architect David Rockwell, detailing his life, work and thoughts on the power of theater. “My mother, Joanne, played a great role in forming my interest in design,” stated Rockwell. “She first introduced me to the excitement and spectacle of live theater, which has had a profound impact on my life and work. These productions really opened my eyes to the power of design to create emotional connections between people and their environment.” Read the complete article, here.
The Rockwell Group takes advantage of a cross-disciplinary approach, with a diverse array of projects ranging from large-scale buildings to product and set design. In this article by Shannon Sharpe, originally posted on Metropolis Magazine as "The Rockwell Way"we learn seven ways that the Rockwell Group has achieved creative success. Read the full article below to discover what drives this particular firm and how it could serve as an inspiration to anyone in the field of design.
How does the magic happen at Rockwell Group? “Pixie dust,” quips Marc Hacker, the firm’s in-house “Thinker.” All jokes aside, there is some truth here. From the animated Quan Yin statue in TAO Downtown to the shifting set of Kinky Boots, to the child-directed free play of the Imagination Playground, a distinct sense of magic imbues every one of these projects. All of them are driven not so much by a look, or even a sensibility, but by the endlessly curious creative process that shaped them. “I know this sounds trite, but it’s not about what’s true now,” says founder and president David Rockwell. “It’s about asking, ‘what if?’” What if an architect could be as experimental as a chef? What if the stage set became a character? What if your environment could transform with every step?
In the Rockwell Group world, asking “What if?”—also the title of a new book being released by Metropolis Books in December to commemorate the firm’s 30th anniversary—has led to an embrace of design at all scales. “On a given day, we could be working on an exhibition, a park, a master plan, an airport interior, a children’s hospital, and a night-club,” Rockwell says. “That confluence of things is probably what makes us most unique.” The process behind these projects —the Rockwell way—is really a set of permissions to roam and explore.
When we evaluate the work of architects and other designers, we often treat it as if the design was created in a vacuum. It's easy to forget that the vast majority of designs emerge from a collaboration between the designer and their client, and when it comes to the design's success the input of the client can often be as important as the work of the designer. This creative relationship can be a difficult one to navigate, yet it is usually held together by a single document: the brief.
Released today, this half-hour documentary by director Tom Bassett entitled Brieflytakes a long hard look at the brief, with architects Frank Gehry and David Rockwell, industrial designer Yves Béhar, illustrator and author Maira Kalman, marketing executive John C Jay and creative executive John Boiler all pitching in their experience with creative briefs, and recounting stories where, for better or for worse, the brief had a major effect on their work.
Two weeks ago, David Rockwell took a step away from his usual work of interior and set design to present his foray into the prefab game - an adaptable 2,400 square-foot house called "Pinwheel." His design aims to challenge two assumptions about prefabrication: one, affordability and luxury are mutually exclusive and two, pre-fab's limited flexibility makes a cookie-cutter result inevitable. Rockwell says the project, a collaboration between himself and Fred Carl, founder of modular housing venture C3 Design, was inspired by his childhood in Mexico, where "outdoor space was part of the lifestyle." Check out the plan and more designs after the break.
TED2014 commenced yesterday at the Vancouver Convention Center within a temporary 1200-seat auditorium designed by David Rockwell. Built from 600 wood components, and assembled in just 4.5 days, the pop-up theater was designed to be easily disassembled and reused by TED for years to come. Viewers are presented with sixteen seating options, from beanbags to lounge seating and traditional theater chairs, to ensure they are provided with the optimal listening, and sharing, experience. More images and a time-lapse video of construction, after the break.
The west side of midtown Manhattan is probably one of the more unexplored areas of New York City by residents and tourists alike. Aside from the Jacob Javits Center, and the different programs off of the Hudson River Parkway that runs parallel to the waterfront, there is very little reason to walk through this industry – and infrastructure – dominated expanse of land full of manufacturers, body shops, parking facilities and vacant lots. The NYC government and various agencies, aware of the lost potential of this area, began hatching plans in 2001 to develop this 48-block, 26-acre section, bound by 43rd Street to the North, 8th Ave to the East, 30th Street to the South and the West Side Highway to the West.
The new Hudson Yards, NYC’s largest development, will be a feat of collaboration between many agencies and designers. The result will be 26 million square feet of new office development, 20,000 units of housing, 2 million square feet of retail, and 3 million square feet of hotel space, mixed use development featuring cultural and parking uses, 12 acres of public open space, a new public school and an extension of a subway line the 7 that currently terminates at Times Square-42nd Street, reintroducing the otherwise infrastructurally isolated portion of the city back into the life of midtown Manhattan. All this for $800 million with up to $3 billion in public money.
In conjunction with its current exhibition The Landmarks of New York, the Parrish Art Museum will host an illustrated presentation by multi-talented, award winning architect David Rockwell titled “Untold Stories from an Eclectic, Exceptional Practice.” A brief discussion between Rockwell, who founded Rockwell Group in 1984 to focus on a diverse array of projects that range from hotels to hospitals, restaurants to airport terminals, and Broadway set designs to consumer products, and exhibition curator Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel will follow the talk. The program will take place Thursday, August 23, at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $5 for Parrish members, $10 for nonmembers. Reservations are strongly recommended. For more information on the event, please visit here.
Awarded by the Interior Design Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), the prestigious Lawrence Israel Prize for 2011 has been awarded to David Rockwell. Given annually to an individual or firm whose ideas and work enrich FIT Interior Design students’ course of study. Past winners include Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, Billie Tsien, and Charles Gwathmey.