Hangar Design | Studio Visit
By Natalie Pestun
Meet Dan and Tim of Hangar Design, a metalworking company in Brooklyn, also collaborators of our Rodin jewelry and Fall 2014 handbags.
Tell us a little bit about Hangar Design?
Dan: What’s really special about us is we are finally blurring the lines between designing and building. At our last job the frustration was about not having the creative conversation with people, our employers did not want it. Here we invite this tremendously, the plural in Hangar is about the collaborative nature of our business. People come to us with broad ideas and concepts at the beginning stages. We work through a design development process and the specifics of engineering the product.
What’s the story behind your decision to be designers and not just fabricators?
Tim: Two different roads led us here, neither of us came from an industrial design background. Dan studied architecture and I studied sculpture. In a lot of ways what we are doing is a healthy medium of those things.
Dan: My whole family consist of woodworkers, my passion lies in being around my father and growing up in the shop. I couldn’t just sit in an office and not be a part of the process of making something.
Why is there an emphasis on metalwork?
Dan: We wanted to focus on one thing and specialize so we could try our best to become experts at it. When we started we talked about doing metal, wood, concrete, mixed materials. In a lot of ways we still deal with that and some projects incorporate glass and stone, but we are more involved in coordinating that than creating it.
Tim: There was a point in my life where I knew absolutely nothing, I was 18 and working as a garbage man, the mechanic there was the first person who showed me how to weld something. When I went to college, I kept up with it. My major was sculpture and I had access to the equipment. I took a machining class and it further taught me to think in a completely different way. The answer to your question is WE LOVE IT.
What is it like manufacturing in New York City?
Tim: Again, we are very fortunate – I don’t hesitate to say that there are a lot of shops that have better equipment, lower overheads, can produce at higher quantities and have the time to do it just as good as us. But they have that missing element, being informed. We are immersed in the design culture of New York City, we go to design shows and we see what’s going on. So even though some of these capable shops outside the city can produce the work, I don’t think they will.
Dan: We are definitely becoming part of a community, which is why I moved to the city to find this kind of work. I knew there was opportunity and a lot of people doing creative things. I’m extremely happy we found these people and developed relationships. For instance, we made 30 tables for one of our clients, Egg Collective, for their New York City Ballet project. The pieces are in the entrance and to think that our work is there is amazing.