The root of the yet-to-be-opened shared space A/D/O in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will be its Design Academy, a set-up that is meant to foster innovative work and interdisciplinary debate.
Installations, exhibitions, workshops and events will be held in the 23,000-square-foot former warehouse at 29 Norman Avenue, which will be aimed at design professionals. The inaugural one will be “Utopia vs. Dystopia: Designing Our Imagined Futures,” underlining the influence design has on this rapidly changing society. Brooklyn-based Narchitects created open spaces, more quiet breakout rooms, a 16-foot-high mirrored skylight with room for ancillary pieces from guest artists and designers. The first one on deck will be Brooklyn’s Mike Perry, who has completed a rooftop installation.
Interestingly, Mini founded A/D/O, as part of the company’s own design practice and interest in advancements that improve urban life. A/D/O will also be home to the headquarters of Urban-X, a start-up accelerator by Mini and SOSV that offers mentorship, seed capital investment, introduction to a network of global investors and access to leading technology and policy institutions in New York through citywide partners. The mission of it all is “Engineering the City as a Service.”
Through a series of alliances, the facility will offer design-minded initiatives including a design store and indoor and outdoor spaces for open work and collaboration. Chefs Fredrik Berselius and Claus Meyer have teamed for the on-site restaurant, which will be named Norman.
Yves Behar and Alice Rawsthorn are among the creative types who have committed to participate in A/D/O’s kickoff event Jan. 27 to 29. Partnerships are already in place with MOS Archiects, OLIN, Stephen Burks Man Made and the Turner Prize-winning collective Assemble.
Noting that the first Mini was created in 1959 by a secret team called the “Amalgamated Drawing Office,” Esther Bahne, head of brand strategy and business innovation at Mini, said, “We believe designers can tip the scales towards a more humane world.”