Daniel Hellman and Eric Chang grew up building solid-wood furniture as a hobby in high school. Self-taught, they spent their nights and weekends cobbling together tables and casegoods before heading their separate ways—Hellman to Northwestern to study classical guitar and Chang to New York University to major in finance and marketing.
Fortunately for us, the lure of design proved too strong for the two, who reunited in 2006 to form Hellman-Chang, one of the most exciting partnerships to emerge from Brooklyn’s burgeoning craft and design scene.
Working in an 11,000-square-foot studio that they share with other artisans, Hellman and Chang design furnishings that suggest a new definition of American design. Simple yet solid, modern yet pragmatic, handmade pieces like the Parker dining table and Anora lamp unfold organically, reflecting the duo’s unique approach to their work.
“Our design process heavily relies on the fabrication process. It is akin to sculpting,” Chang says. “As we build our prototypes and see them come to life in three dimensions, we begin to adjust, take away from, or add to the piece. Shaping the surfaces, creating forms and feeling the wood are intimate and pertinent steps in creating a final design.”
The result is a small but refined collection of furniture, and a growing list of high-end clients that includes The Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons. For Chang, that proves they’ve hit a sweet spot in the market. “Now, more than ever, luxury is about the artisan touch, the story behind the craftsmanship and an appreciation of locally crafted pieces.”