Need to Know

Harvard Removes Philip Johnson’s Name, Another 2021 Color of the Year Gets Named, and More News This Week

Here’s what you need to know

From significant business changes to noteworthy product launches, there’s always something new happening in the world of design. In this weekly roundup, AD PRO has everything you need to know.


Harvard GSD Removes Philip Johnson’s Name

Fresh on the heels of a group of artists calling on MoMA to remove Philip Johnson’s name from museum materials, Harvard GSD has beaten them to the punch. Specifically, the school will simply refer to the house Johnson created while studying there by its street address. (Previously, it had been named the Philip Johnson Thesis House.) Johnson’s legacy within the design and architecture community has recently been under reexamination due to his documented ties to fascism and Nazism. 


York Wallcoverings Makes COTY News of Its Own

Move aside, Pantone! As it turns out, the color authority wasn’t the only industry player to make a color of the year announcement this week. York Wallcoverings, which just so happens to be the oldest wall coverings producer in the U.S., announced their 2021 pick of Blue Jean Blue. Of the light hue, Carol Miller, York’s in-house trend and color expert, said in a statement: “From an aesthetics perspective, it’s a beautiful color found in many of our most popular wall coverings, and we’ve seen a big shift toward styles that evoke feelings of comfort and casual togetherness at home. There have been a lot of challenges this past year, and looking into 2021, people are craving spaces that provide relaxation.”

Product Launches

Collaboration Debuts from Newly Named AD100 Designer

Newly minted AD100 interior designer Sheila Bridges has teamed up with The Inside on a collaboration featuring Bridges’ Harlem Toile de Jouy pattern. It’s the first time her pattern—which has been featured at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, and the Musée de la Toile de Jouy in France, and has appeared in collaborations with Converse, Sonos, and menswear line Union Los Angeles—will be widely available for furniture and accessories, and in five new colorways.

The toile, says the brand, “lampoons some of the stereotypes commonly associated with African Americans [and] ultimately celebrates their complex history and rich culture which has often been appropriated.” Says Bridges, “I have always wanted to see my Harlem Toile de Jouy design on furniture that was affordable, and now, thanks to my latest collaboration with The Inside, that will be possible.”

Sheila Bridges, surrounded by pillows in her signature Harlem Toile.

Photo: Courtesy of The Inside

Snarkitecture Teams Up with Pharrell Williams

Snarkitecture has partnered with with OTHERWARE, Pentatonic, and i am OTHER—the creative collective founded by Pharrell Williams—to create a sustainable collection of cutlery dubbed Pebble. “Living sustainably is only possible if leaders of their fields unite to build new ideas to inspire people to make positive choices for the planet,” Williams said in a statement. “Pentatonic, i am OTHER, and Snarkitecture have combined their respective and unique technologies, [and] creativity and design, to make a Pebble, which will spare the oceans thousands of tons of plastic contamination…. [T]hat’s a very positive choice.”


Kohler Announces Inaugural Kohler@Home Event

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Following the news of Kitchen & Bath Industry Show’s (KBIS) pivot to an entirely virtual 2021 edition, category leader Kohler has announced a preparty of sorts, with plans for a virtual event of its own one week prior to the annual industry show. On February 2 and 3, Kohler will present Kohler@Home, an open-to-the-public virtual event introducing the manufacturer’s new product lineup for 2021, plus a dialogue series covering the important topics concerning industry leaders right now. Join designers Amy Lau and Courtney McLeod, among others, in conversations regarding what’s new and next in kitchen and bath design, from the impact of COVID-19 to the technology informing the future of the home’s hardest-working spaces. Learn more about the event and how to register on the AD PRO Calendar. 


Phillips’s December Design Auction Sets New Records

Another week, another eye-catching set of auction results, this time from Phillips. Black Bulerias, a 1958 work by Peter Voulkos, set a new record for Voulkos works. Although the piece was estimated to sell for $600,000–$800,000, it fetched a whopping $1,264,200. Also of note, a Vladimir Kagan Contour rocking chair from 1955 set a record for the furniture designer. The chair was estimated to bring in $10,000–$15,000, but instead sold for $132,300.


Sotheby’s Home Exec Heads to Holly Hunt

Under the leadership of Holly Hunt president Marc Szafran, who joined the company earlier this year, Holly Hunt continues to take strides to strengthen its digital presence and omnichannel shopping experience. Now, a newly coined senior vice president of digital will specifically lead that charge. This week, the company announced that Elizabeth Brown, most recently the CEO of Sotheby’s Home and previously the chief executive at Viyet, is joining the team in that capacity.

All About Arts

Poignant Art Installation Gets Cast Over Landmark Structure

This week, artist Reggie Black projected his light installation onto the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum. The moving piece, which made the words “Slaves Lived Here” appear in large lettering across the landmark’s last extant farmhouse, won’t soon be forgotten. “At the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, we’re both looking to the past to uncover ignored histories, and looking to the present to share this information with New Yorkers and underscore its significance,” Meredith Horsford, executive director of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance, said in a statement. “We have an obligation to shed light on the experiences of underserved and underrepresented marginalized communities. Our museum is eager to continue this service through the impactful work of artists like Reggie Black.” The official title of Black’s artwork is No Records.