Colony on Canal: the Tribeca design gallery putting designers first

Celebrating its first birthday, Tribeca design gallery Colony has put on a show celebrating the USA's most exciting young design talents during NYCxDesign. Here, Lights by Allied Maker hang over a side table by Chen Chen and Kai Williams. An intricate waffle weave wall hanging by Hiroko Takeda provides a backdrop for a steel-framed desk by Codor Design
(Image credit: TBC)

A welcome addition to this year's roster of NYCxDesign events across the city is new Tribeca design gallery Colony, with a show that marks the end of its first year in business. Behind the graffitied Canal Street exterior lies an unexpectedly bright and uplifting space where visitors can discover pieces by the country's most exciting young design talents.

Founded and headed up by New York design editor and entrepreneur Jean Lin, the gallery space is set apart from New York's many other design showrooms by the co-operative format on which it operates - designers pay co-op fees rather than high commission rates. 'The aim was to establish the most designer-friendly foundation before expanding the business,' says Lin. 'The risk was a big one, but I think the reward for the designers involved could be even bigger.'

It's a new way of working that levels the playing field in a country where young designers, who unlike their European contemporaries, don't have a wealth of manufacturers eager to enlist their services. Each designer in the space is making everything themselves and often on a tight budget, leaving little leftover for investing in sales, marketing and a dedicated showroom space.

Lin currently has a posse of 17 textile, lighting and furniture makers under her wing and a string of hopefuls lining up, eager to be involved. From exquisitely crafted cabinets by Rhode Island School of Design-educated Kai-wei Hsu to stone and copper tabletop pieces by Boston-born, Rotterdam-based Rachel Griffin, each designer is carefully chosen by Lin. Syrette Lew of Brooklyn studio Moving Mountains, whose brass 'Palmyra' floor lamp is currently on show at Colony, tells us, 'As far as I know, nothing else like this exists in New York and what does exist caters to another generation.'

Although launched a year ago during the 2014 design week, this year's show marks the gallery's true arrival in a city where local design is finally receiving the attention it deserves.

Pendant lights, ash extending dining table

Pendant lights by Farrah Sit hang above Debra Folz's grey-stained ash extending dining table. Wall mirrors and side tables by Canadian designer Zoë Mowat sit to the left, while the intricate ‘Objet Trouvé’ mirror and tiered side table to the right are the work of Seattle studio Codor Design

(Image credit: TBC)

‘Indian Holly' wallpaper

Set against Flat Vernacular’s ‘Indian Holly' wallpaper, Katy Skelton's credenza is flanked by two of her ladder designs with blankets by Hiroko Takeda (right) and Meg Callahan (left). The modular granite, marble and walnut centrepiece is by Earnest Studio

(Image credit: TBC)

tables, media cabinet

Chen Chen and Kai Williams' tables are joined by VIDIVIXI (far left) and Katy Skelton's media cabinet (right)

(Image credit: TBC)

collection of unique stool designs

Also on show at Colony is a collection of unique stool designs made by Colony designers for the fourth exhibition of Reclaim NYC, a charitable organisation founded in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. All proceeds go to Art Start

(Image credit: TBC)

daybed stands in front of a dark wall hanging is by Meg Callahan. The 'Palmyra' palm tree lamp

Vonnegut/Kraft's daybed stands in front of a dark wall hanging is by Meg Callahan. The 'Palmyra' palm tree lamp and the side tables, both by Moving Mountains, were by far the most Instagrammed pieces from the show

(Image credit: TBC)


2nd Floor
324 Canal Street
New York
NY 10013