This week we’re chatting with the founders of Atelier Cho Thompson, a multi-disciplinary design and concept firm based in San Francisco and New Haven. Founders Christina Cho Yoo and Ming Thompson met on the first day of grad school at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and have been collaborating on projects ever since. Though formally trained in architecture and engineering, their interests and personal histories drive one another to reach beyond the borders of both disciplines. Cho and Thompson have been curators, bakers, artists, and teachers, and the women draw from their varied experiences to shape the design work created by Atelier Cho Thompson. The firm’s portfolio spans from architecture to interior design to design strategy to graphics; an integrated design approach that produces holistic environments in which all elements are deeply related to one other and to the heart of a central concept. For their work they draw inspiration from many sources, and for this Friday Five Cho and Thompson are sharing five female artists and designers whose work they are inspired by.
1. Katy Skelton
We first met Katy in New York, and we are now working with her on a striking custom brass chandelier for an upcoming project. Her lighting pieces often use a simple geometry of arcs and lines in unexpected ways; they are modern and crisp, but with a touch of whimsy and delight. Katy’s mixed media fixtures, using natural metals and leathers, are a sophisticated complement to our spaces.
2. Jaclyn Conley
Jaclyn Conley is a fellow at NXTHVN, an ambitious new arts institution in New Haven. As the interior designers on the project, we are fortunate to spend time working in and around incredible artwork, and visiting Jaclyn’s paintings is a remarkable part of our job. Her current series, All the President’s Children, references archived images of First Ladies and the families of presidents. These images, interpreted through bold colored forms, are at once familiar and abstract. Her layered and complex use of colors is an inspiration in our work.
3. Egg Collective
At once classically beautiful and fiercely contemporary, Egg Collective pieces are at home in vintage brownstones and modern offices alike. Luxurious but not ostentatious, Egg Collective’s work demonstrates a sophisticated restraint that makes these pieces timeless additions to a space.
4. Debra Folz
We discovered Debra’s work at Salon in Boston, and we’re working with her on some custom pieces for an upcoming project. Debra’s work features strong geometric forms and natural materials, but the pieces usually have a sense of glamour and wit.
5. Molly M Designs
Trained as an architect, Molly McGrath’s designs possess a richness that transcends what you typically see achieved with the materials with which she works. She is an incredibly talented designer (not to mention a wonderful human being) whose reach continues to grow beyond jewelry, housewares, and art. We’ve bonded with her over being mothers and designers. Check out her MMD Mini Collection for babies and kids!