Norman Kelley: Young Artists to Know About

Does one have to design a building to be called an architect?  Perhaps, but then there must be something else, a certain je ne sais quoi that makes the design more than the sum of its parts.  One group of architects continually prodding into these questions is the practice of Norman Kelley.  Founded by Carrie Norman and Thomas Kelley and based between New York and Chicago, the practice is unafraid to venture into all areas of design.  Through all kinds of media, interior design, exhibition, and installation, the group responds to poignant questions regarding art and architectural practice.  The objects that result range from curious to intriguing to “wrong”.

“Rubin’s Barrel”

This work is from the practice’s “object” category, and we find the reference to the classic faces and vase silhouette pretty funny.  It’s always nice to find an object with a bit of humor.

Norman Kelley’s interior design work is almost incomparable to their object work.  The firm is able to approach totally different design questions with the same irreverent curiosity.  Their design for the Aesop store in Chicago’s own Bucktown elegantly weaves an international brand into a local feel.

The floors and walls of the interior are completely lined with reclaimed Chicago bricks and the display for the products are neatly tucked into the brickwork.  With a single material, the designers made a Chicago home for the brand, and we do not foresee them leaving anytime soon.

“Comb-Back Writing-Arm Chair” from the “Wrong Chairs” collerction

Another series of objects from these talented designers, their “Wrong Chairs” also reveal a humorous spin on a classic idea.

The chairs intrigue us and make us laugh at the same time, they’re like artifacts from some alternate “wrong” universe.  The one thing they don’t do is make us want to sit on them.

We love Norman Kelley’s ambitious practice, and are quite impressed by the diversity of their portfolio.  Indeed, we hope to see more from these talented young designers, what other surprises have they got?

As always, please follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterest and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Comments are closed.