Lecture: Hammer Design Series: 15 Years Of Making

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Chandler-Ullmann Hall Room 230

Hammerschlag Design Series - Lecture

Chandler-Ullmann Hall-Room 230
6:00 p.m. 

Lehigh Alumni - Andrew Kotchen '94 & Matthew Berman '94

"CRAFTED MODERN: 15 Years OF Making"



In 2014, workshop/apd celebrates 15 years as a thriving design practice. Since founding the firm, partners Andrew Kotchen & Matthew Berman have built an enviable roster of work that runs the gamut from sleek urban lofts to luxurious family homes, high-end multi-family developments to attention-grabbing restaurants, and inventive affordable housing for Hurricane Katrina victims to reinvigorated urban landmarks like the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Through these wildly varied projects, we have earned recognition for our ability to solve a variety of present-day design challenges with a timeless aesthetic. 


For us, “crafted modern” is the idea that materials – any material – have a worked quality to them, whether the work is done by hand (layers of encaustic or Venetian plaster), or machine (computer milled Corian or water-jet-cut steel), or even by time and weather (the patina of aged wood). We like things that have been transformed and that continue to change over time and we celebrate the subtle variations that result. We believe that things are beautiful because of their imperfections, adding to the character and decorative quality – the knots of a floorboard, the slump of a silk curtain, or the oil marks on a sheet of hot-rolled steel. We like things that invite investigation – materials, textures, processes that say, “do touch.” (And we believe you can “touch” things with your eyes as well as with your hands.) This is the essence of “craft.” For us, “modern” implies a new or unexpected way of designing with these elements. Whether a building façade, a doorway, a handrail, or a light fixture, we strive to create memorable moments in every project.


Wherever possible, we seek out seasoned artisans, craftsmen, and tradespeople to collaborate with us. We celebrate their skills and technical abilities and recognize that their contributions make a tangible difference in every project. Whenever we can, we source local or indigenous materials and repurpose discarded elements, transforming overlooked objects into something unexpected and meaningful. We hope that our ability to merge processes and techniques from the past with 21st-century ingenuity will result in a lasting legacy.