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Open> Colony Showroom
Twelve groups of designers show their wares at the co-op gallery, Colony.
Courtesy Colony

324 Canal Street, 2nd floor
Designers: Colony

Gaining space and visibility has long been a challenge for emerging designers, especially in Manhattan. Jean Lin and Michael Maloney, and a group of designers who would later become a new creative co-op called Colony, set about to change that. Scouring the borough for affordable spaces, Lin chanced on a large but very rough space on Canal Street just south of the Soho showrooms and north of Tribeca’s small design district. “The location felt exactly right,” she said, “unexpected, something special. It really embodies the spirit of independent design that we’re trying to show here.”


Colony is made up of twelve groups of creatives, including furniture, lighting, and textile designers: Allied Maker, Assembly, Egg Collective, Flat Vernacular, Hiroko Takeda, KWH Furniture, Meg Callahan, Sharktooth, Sit and Read, Token, UM Project, and Zoe Mowat. They leveled the floor and added new hardwood and track lighting, but kept the rough exposed brick walls and tin ceilings. The new showroom will feature a display of work by co-op members as well as guest exhibitions, lectures, and events. “We want it to be a dynamic space that really reflects the energy of this community,” said Lin. “We want the colony to grow.”

Alan G. Brake