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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: New Balance NYC Experience Store

In Store Craft: New Balance Features Nikole Nelson

Nikole Nelson

The NYC Experience: New Balance's interactive web feature on installation by Nikole Nelson

I can't begin to convey how much I love this store, brand and the dynamic results of true collaborative design. New Balance recently launced their official website covering the NYC Experience store. Featured on the site is this inspiring in-store video tour and an in depth look at the front art sculpture. The three primary parts of the installation's design and concept are conveyed through an impressive interactive user experience showcasing: History, Evolution and Contempory. Click on the image above, check it out and enjoy!    

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! 

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Behind the Scenes: Experience Store In Construction

Nikole Nelson

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Collaborating with assembly area designers IDL, painted distressed NB logo on floor.

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Raw space pre-construction.

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Assembly area floor, beginning stages of construction.

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Design development floor samples.

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Photograph by Jeff Harris

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Our muscle! We love Allstate Electric!On the roof of our studio in Red Hook for celebratory laughs and beers at sunset.

During our 3 week stay on the New Balance construction site we tackled the rear wall (seen in earlier behind the scene post), the column restoration and the floor treatment in the assembly area. At the hottest point of the summer, during a heat wave, in an unventilated space, with zero natural light, we forged side by side with skilled construction teams to achieve dynamic results. A construction site can easily be compared to a beehive - it is no joke, especially in New York City. These dudes were serious craftsman and took their trades to the extreme. The amount of energy and collaboration was invigorating and we earned our stripes successfully amongst them, hot-pink hardhat and all. There was not a day the boys didn’t assist our team in one way or another – from lifting our 20 ft scaffolding to teaching me new methods of building – it was an experience I will not soon forget.

We painted a distressed oversized NB logo in the assembly area and developed the staining process for the wood floors throughout the space. The columns were stripped down to the original metal, cleaned and finished, restoring their full beauty. This was one messy job – wet, dirty and grimy. During the finishing process, antique graffiti was discovered adding to the store's visual story, peeling back the layers of time to reveal and respect the building’s history.

After 3 long HOT weeks we returned to our studio in Red Hook on top of the world. As we watched the sunset celebrating our power (we were quite pumped up on testosterone) our minds began shifting to the next stages of greatness ahead…the production of the 13’ front art sculpture…

More behind the scenes on final stages of New Balance Experience store coming soon! 

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Behind the Scenes: New Balance Experience Store

Nikole Nelson

Photograph by Jeff Harris

Harnessing the power of the retail experience we imparted an organic, deconstructed, visual journey through the evolution of the brand at the recently opened New Balance NYC Experience Store on 5th Avenue in the Flatiron District of Manhattan.

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Raw site pre-construction.

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Nelson's early concept sketch for rear wall of store.

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Design development sample focusing on movement and texture.

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Drawing in breakaway design before brick work begins.

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Mortar application and final texturing in progress.

Photograph by Jeff Harris

This takes my love of mortar, concrete, dirt, texture and RED to a new level. Collaborating with skilled masons the back wall was built to mimic the existing brick throughout the space dating back to the 1800's. Layers where the key to authenticity - mortar was custom tinted, thickly applied and strategically scraped after drying. It was labor intensive and pretty damn crazy - my entire team is now equipped with ripped arms as a result of this process! Who needs the gym when you have the summer of New Balance brick lovin!

Inspiration took seed in a matter of seconds as I stood in the raw space, with architectural drawings by retail masters Cormark, in hand. Scanning the space meticulously I calculated the imagery of each wall - the demolition was gorgeous. Areas of the wall were ripped open revealing the inner workings of the structure. It was like a day in heaven - I love all things deconstructed. From the walls of the architecture itself the movement of the red breakaway was born. Pepper in the collaborative layers of signage by IDL, visual merchandising displays by Knock and the sickest texture mapping a girl has ever seen by KLIP and you find an experience worth craving.

More behind the scenes at the New Balance NYC Experience Store to follow in the coming week. Stay tuned!

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