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Honolulu, Hawaii
United States

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An artistic collaborative of artists, designers, makers and craftsmen focused on the creation of unique experiences and conceptual environments.  Building moments to be explored and remembered through the conception and creation of custom art installations, interior design, events, set design, styling & visual merchandising.

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Filtering by Category: Picking

Waimanalo: Dilapidated Beauty

Nikole Nelson

My birthday adventure: Goin country. Went on the hunt for inspiration and discovered a hidden gem just waiting to be explored. An expansive, dilapidated Waimanalo green house and nursery, secret garden heaven! I find my inspiration, treasures and building materials in the most amazing places. Getting dirty, climbing through over grown layers of untamed nature, discovering all the while...Indiana Jones style! Best birthday ever! 

Behind the Scenes: NB Feature Art Installation

Nikole Nelson

Photograph by Jeff Harris

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Entry wall of store, pre-construction, where sculpture would be installed.

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Early concept sketches.

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Die-cut waste - New Balance manufacturing plant.

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Sculpture exterior design development sample.

Collaborators, Porter Green Works, building plywood structure.

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Archived shoe making tools formed into 1906, NB's year of origin.

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NB shoe tags individually rolled with wire.

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Sculpting mechanical arm from industrial hardware.

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Resin copy of original sewing machine used in early NB factories.

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Visual merchandising display design development samples in progress.

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On-site installation.

Photograph by Jeff Harris.

My approach to design starts from the inside of the brand; its inception through its evolution. As part of my research I traveled to the New Balance manufacturing plant in Lawrence, MA to observe their production first hand. As a “picker” at heart my eye found beauty in every element of the creation process – from the materials and tools used to the contents of the dumpsters (during my many dives!). These pieces would directly translate into the primary feature art piece within the store.

Upon entering the NYC experience store the sculpture provides an immediate sense of the unique quality of the brand – where the technical meets the organic. Angled boxes converge to form a composition that encourages a consumer viewing experience filled with texture and mystery. Each individual box contributes to a journey through the history, evolution and contemporary energy of New Balance from its foundation in 1906 to present. The company’s year of origin is crafted from archived shoe making tools and extends the length of the sculpture. A resin replica of the original sewing machines used in the early factories is encased in moss as if it halted mid-stich in decades past. Scrap leather from die cut waste was sculpted in layers over the surface creating a fossilized texture. Actual individual shoe parts converge in repetition to create a variety of abstract sculptures that capture the intensity, movement and originality of the brand.

Special thanks to the New Balance family and my dynamic team of hard working ladies for their commitment, drive and energizing spirits. Cheers to a job well done! 

View Full Project

Junkin' in PA

Nikole Nelson

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Some trips are legendary and the Junkin' in PA caravan was one of them. On board was Susan and William Brinson of House of Brinson, Michelle Carangi from Holley & Gill, Interiors guru Jonathan Legate and one sexy Greek...James Karabelas.

There is nothing that makes me more elated than treasure hunting in a rickety old barn. Add a group of talented, knowledgeable design friends and magic is born! Susan and Jonathan are antiquing geniuses; every foreign object I discovered they would instantly have a description of its original use, time period and worth. It was like being on one of those antiquing road shows!

Of course no barn adventure can be complete without the discovery of family secrets, grandmas racey media and "exercise" equipment and a few stray rodents. You take the good with the "So did NOT want to see that" and in the end you have a stash of beautiful finds.

My favorite purchase of the day was an antique refrigerator box that can hang on the wall. The best part - it's the perfect size to house all my saws! It's going to be an awesome addition to the studio. Special thanks to William and Susan for organizing the best Saturday ever.

Check the story out in full at House of Brinson. Enjoy!