Michael Aram

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There are a few pioneers of the modern-organic trend that�s everywhere these days� interior designer imports Kelly Hoppen and Clodagh, Miami artist Michele Oka Doner, design Renaissance man David Rockwell, and sculptor-turned tabletop craftsman Michael Aram.

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Aram�s work may have been lost in the shuffle of places like the Bloomingdale�s or the Viva Terra catalog, but no more!

Aram�s just opened his first flagship store in Manhattan, where natural shapes and the glitter of metals come together in functional pieces that are (as their literature says) �about the transformation of �technical� to �lyrical.��

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In his �Earth� and �Water� collections, hammered silver bowls perch atop red coral branches, Ginko leaves become salad servers, and birch bark becomes vases via recycled aluminum. His �Dream� collection is highly sculptural and seemingly drawn from fairy tales, where vines wind their way around cake plates like the tresses of some Earth Day Rapunzel. Other items are tribal and industrial in feel, perhaps the most city-ready and masculine of the lot.

But dont just head to the store to shop� the small space itself is worth the trip. Dark and moody so the metals sparkle, it is part industrial, part slick apartment, part nature, part fantasy� but pure inspiration. The net effect is what would happen if Tiffany�s opened a Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. Don�t be put off, though� a little of his work can go a long way, so the store has the slight tendency to overwhelm. But just imagine the impact just one of his cast Palmetto fronds would have on a weng� table.

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Big-personality accent furniture rounds out the mostly-tabletop collection (his funky skeleton chair can be seen in Thom Filicia�s own Mahattan home) and the silver River Rock lamps would turn the most avid glitz-a-phobe into a believer of Aram�s unique brand of alchemy.

- Patrick (the other one)


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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.