Construction is complete at A/D/O, a new 23,000 square-foot creative space, which opens to the public in Greenpoint, Brooklyn following the holiday season. At the core of A/D/O is its Design Academy, which aims to inspire pioneering work and be a forum for interdisciplinary debate. A/D/O will provide unique opportunities for professional development while inviting the broader public to explore design through a range of installations, exhibitions, and events.
The Design Academy at A/D/O will offer an ambitious seasonal program geared towards design professionals, which stimulates relevant dialogue and new work through talks and workshops, special exhibitions and commissions and designer residencies. Its first program, entitled “Utopia vs. Dystopia: Designing Our Imagined Futures,” investigates the role design plays in a world of rapid change. Partnerships with design firms MOS Architects, OLIN, Stephen Burks Man Made and Turner-prize winning collective Assemble, as well as talks from Yves Behar and Alice Rawsthorn among others, are important components of this inaugural season, which will kick off with a three-day festival January 27-29, 2017.
Housed in a former warehouse at 29 Norman Avenue, A/D/O will also feature a workspace with rentable desks and prototyping facilities, a design store, a range of indoor and outdoor spaces for open work and collaboration, and Norman: a restaurant by world-class culinary leaders Fredrik Berselius and Claus Meyer. A/D/O further headquarters Urban-X, a startup accelerator by MINI and SOSV with the mission of “Engineering the City as a Service.”
While carefully preserving elements of the existing structure at 29 Norman Ave, the layout of A/D/O carves out a variety of unique spaces for creative work. Realized by Brooklyn-based nARCHITECTS, the building offers generous, open space as well as quiet breakout rooms, designed for intersections between the various programs within A/D/O. Permanent design elements such as the 16-foot-tall mirrored “periscope” skylight are meant to complement pieces introduced by guest artists and designers in residence –– starting with a rooftop mural by Brooklyn-based artist Mike Perry –– and to inspire them to use the space as a canvas.
“Our aim is to be a catalyst for new and relevant work,” said Nathan Pinsley, managing director of A/D/O. “Meaningful design requires exchange and stimulation and we’ve built a place entirely for that purpose.”
A/D/O was founded by MINI as part of the company’s own design practice and continued exploration of innovations that improve urban life.
“We believe designers can tip the scales towards a more humane world,” said Esther Bahne, head of brand strategy and business innovation at MINI. “This belief is what drove a secret team, the ‘Amalgamated Drawing Office,’ when they created the first Mini in 1959: an iconic design with strong emotional appeal and an answer to the fuel shortage of the time. This is what inspires us at MINI today, as we aim to develop products and services that are truly relevant to people. A/D/O was founded in this spirit: to serve the creative community, locally, and globally.”
A/D/O will be open to the public seven days a week. More information, including opening hours, can be found at a-d-o.com.