F5: Beauty + Experience Infuse All Things for Designer Nick Ozemba
Nick Ozemba, co-founder of In Common With, met his eventual business partner, Felicia Hung, on the first day of their freshman year in the furniture design program at RISD. After graduation, he went on to design interiors at ASH NYC and SHoP Architects, while Hung went to work as a product designer. Then in 2017, they reunited to form the Brooklyn-based studio In Common With.
While focused on creating lighting collections, the work leans on curiosity, materiality, and plenty of collaboration. The brand’s aesthetic is simple while striking, it comes together with the help of a top-notch team and talented ceramicists, glassmakers, and metalworkers they collaborate with around the world. An impressive portfolio of custom projects carries the style further, featuring a comfortably understated appeal. Ozemba and Hung have been able to combine their respective experiences in industrial design, manufacturing, and interiors and infuse it throughout every corner of In Common With.
In fall 2022, In Common With took a big step by opening their first showroom in a historic warehouse building in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The space includes an expanded production studio where every product is assembled and new collections and prototypes are developed.
This week, Nick Ozemba joins us for Friday Five!
1. Schloss Hollenegg for Design
I had the privilege of visiting the Schloss Hollenegg this summer with my business partner, Felicia, and Sophie Lou Jacobsen, to photograph our newest lighting collection – Flora Series. A 12th-century castle in the Austrian countryside owned by Alice and Alfred Liechtenstein, its historical rooms are filled with old-world details, from wood-burning clay stoves to hand-painted silk wallpaper and baroque-plastered walls. After carefully restoring the estate, Alice and Alfred decided to start a design residency program, transforming the space into a workshop for research and experimentation. The designers in residence spend the month of July developing their practice, responding to the historical setting, being inspired by their surroundings and each other. Their final work is exhibited each May. We are thrilled some of our Flora pieces will be on view as part of the show.
2. Camí de Cavalls
The Camí de Cavalls, which translates to “Way of Horses,” is a historic military path that winds around the perimeter of Menorca and has existed since the early 1300s. The trail was restored as a walking route in 2010 and is one of the most beautiful landscapes I have experienced in the Mediterranean. It swerves through multiple ecosystems along a rugged coastline, opening to secluded beach coves. It now has even more special meaning – my partner and I spent a week exploring the island this summer and it’s where we got engaged.
3. Ca Na Toneta
After our time in Menorca, we spent a few days on its larger sister island, Mallorca. Hidden in a small village is a fantastic restaurant called Ca Na Toneta run by two sisters, Maria and Teresa, and named after their grandmother, Toneta. Their approach to cooking combines traditional Mallorcan dishes with a focus on seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. We had an unforgettable meal on their rear patio. The sisters also converted an adjoining house into a small boutique selling products made by local artists, so we left with an extra suitcase of beautiful ceramics and textiles.
4. Saraghina Caffè
When I first moved to New York, Saraghina in Bed-Stuy was my go-to restaurant. I lived a block away and would go with my dear friend, Leah, to gossip for hours over pizza and rosemary margaritas. Since starting In Common With, we’ve worked with many excellent restaurants, including the newly opened Saraghina Caffè in Fort Greene, which features our Orb 4 Surface Mounts. The interior – designed by Space Exploration Design – is a beautiful ode to Milan, and the food does not disappoint.
5. My Cookbook Collection
I’m a passionate home cook and love learning from talented chefs by cooking my way through their books. My latest obsession is Rosetta by Elena Reygadas. The book is in Spanish, so I’ve been slowly translating each recipe as I make it. So far, the white mole is my favorite. I’m also looking forward to Camille Becerra’s cookbook, which will come out soon.