It's been a whirlwind year for Soft-Maps and Haptic Lab! Since winning the 2009 Design Showcase last September, we've been creating new products like affordable hand-knotted Baby Soft-Maps. These baby quilts represent over 20+ cities in the US, Canada and Australia and are now available exclusively via our online Soft-Map Store. We've also been working with a select group of local boutiques in Brooklyn to sell our special neighborhood quilts: Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store, nydesignroom, and Spring. Each store is completely unique in their approach to design and deeply committed to showcasing the work of local designers like the Haptic Lab.
">Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store opened in October 2007 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Ann always loved visiting country General Stores (mostly in New England, where she would vacation with family) and seeing the ordered chaos of fun and functional items thrown about while also providing the community with a place to meet and greet one another. Ann wanted to bring the same idea to sophisticated, urban city dwellers and launch a new concept: the urban general store. The Blue Ribbon General Store loves to help their customers make the most of every day by providing them with a cool, well edited assortment of hand picked items that add clever and thoughtful ideas to their lives (for themselves, and as gifts). Haptic Lab was a perfect fit for a place where neighbors say hello and treat each other with such kindness. People in Brooklyn really respect the local businesses and go out of their way to support local talent.
The nydesignroom offers off-the-rack and off-the-shelf accessories and jewelry. The shop is worth a visit for its "workshop in a store" concept. Emily from Haptic Lab once spent an afternoon finishing a quilt in the store. Shoppers make their purchases on the cutting table, while a sewing machine whirs nearby. Owner GGrippo's design sensibility playfully explores the construction of clothing. Trained as an architect, he brings to fashion the postmodern details of exposed construction and highlights fastenings as if they were arches. Yet, the styles are as down-to-earth as patchwork quilts, a memorable theme in his work. The shop upends the aloof reputation of high-concept design, proving it can co-exist with neighborly shop keeping.
At the intersection of art and design, you'll find Spring in DUMBO. Owners Steve Butcher and Anna Consentino have at once created an idea base, an exhibition space and related store promoting design through curated shows and highlighted product. Structured on four principal shows a year, they work with a pool of talented guest artists, designers and curators to create cohesive, informative and, above all, interesting exhibits. It is an ambitious and exciting project that promotes thinking, explores new exchanges and provides a link to, and association with, innovative projects.
Read more about Emily Fisher, Haptic Lab, and Soft-Maps at their website.