November 1, 2011
Ready for Anything
In its new office on the Bowery, Project Projects has enough room to work, meet, eat, and more.
New York City
The team at Project Projects can finally have lunch together. This New York City–based graphic design studio has grown considerably since its founding—seven years ago, the company consisted of just two partners in a minuscule 13-by-12-foot studio. Now, two moves later, it has landed in a plum location on the Bowery. It has gained a third partner, six full-time employees, and 2,100 more luxurious square feet of office space. “At the old studio we kept trying to clear a spot to eat lunch,” says the firm’s cofounder Adam Michaels. “But every time we added a table we ended up turning it into a workstation instead.”
When Michaels and the other founding partner, Prem Krishnamurthy, were joined in 2010 by their friend Rob Giampietro, it was time to finally admit that they’d outgrown their Lower East Side office. The old location lacked a number of conveniences they now freely enjoy: a kitchen, a place to take photographs, ten feet of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a wall to hang work in progress, and breathing space. “And the acoustics are so much better,” Giampietro adds. “In the old space you could hear every word that was said. The relative quiet now is such a marked change—it feels very contemplative.”
But the most interesting feature of the new office is revealed outside of the nine-to-five. True to its many interests, Project Projects has made this a multifunctional space, with a large area designated for different kinds of programming—lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, and workshops for students. “Having an event space is something we’ve batted around since the beginning. It’s not only our goal to ignite thinking, but we also want to eventually give these events second lives by somehow documenting them,” Krishnamurthy says.
Instead of filling the office with all-new furniture, Project Projects decided to retrofit the lightweight Ikea desks from its old space. The partners called upon the furniture designer Levi Murphy to make the modifications and to create the much anticipated lunch table, which doubles as a conference table.
The only other new pieces in the space are eight sturdy Appalachian Chairs by the up-and-coming design studio Rich Brilliant Willing. The chairs caught Michaels’s eye at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair earlier this year, and the firm had them made up in walnut wood with a steel frame.
Flexibility is key for Project Projects—with no walls and almost nothing bolted down, its new location is the definition of multipurpose. By night it can transform into an informal venue, come morning it’s a work space again, and by noon, it is time to eat.