Artists all have their rituals for getting into the heat of their energy. Thinking Cap is an ever-evolving web series developed by Atelier Ace that hitches a ride with experimental artists, musicians and other personalities as their creative transmissions get into gear. The Thinking Cap, outfitted with a POV camera, captures that process with all the shakes, swoops and cries of victory in real time — an all-seeing eye into their unique processes, and a journey into the nature of the muse itself.
Guests and neighbors are free to work and wheel and deal all day in Ace Hotel New York's lobby. As an organic outgrowth of the space's open-door policy, we've fostered a unique community of programmers and creatives hunkering down to make things — a clique that seemed a natural fit for Atelier to engage.
The Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Initiative, Atelier Ace, Tumblr and Jawbone hitched up to challenge developers and designers to dig into the zeros and ones and create a health-based application prototype to help people work more healthfully. Since then, our award-winning Codeathon series has taken on a mind of its own — with a few repeats in NYC and Ace Hotel Palm Springs — and we're happily helping to facilitate others interested in hosting their very own Codeathons around the world.
The Impossible Project began in October 2008 with the dream of keeping the magic of analog instant photography alive in the face of a depleted stock of the original Polaroid film. In 2011, Atelier teamed with Impossible for one of our favorite one-off projects — stocking all of Ace Hotel's guest rooms in New York, Palm Springs, Portland and Seattle with refurbished Polaroid cameras, plus custom packs of Impossible x Ace Hotel PX600 Silvershade instant black and white film in the mini-bar.
We consummated the marriage with 24 Hours at Ace — a gallery show featuring instant works by friends of Ace Hotel and The Impossible Project. Over the course of the next year, custom film and cameras were sold at all of Ace's locations, in Ace's online shop and in select niche retail stores worldwide — while guests and fans of Ace and Impossible contributed their own photos to an evolving digital gallery online.
In New York during Fall Fashion Week 2013 we partnered with Shapeways on an interactive encounter of technology and design. We explored how digital technology can revolutionize the future of fashion — with Michael Schmidt, Dita Von Teese, Material ConneXion and other forward-thinking CAD artists and analog jewelry designers. The result was the world’s first fully-articulated 3D-printed gown, donned by Dita Von Teese herself.
At our own Ace Hotel NYC lobby we hosted a group discussion for students about 3D printing and fashion’s future led by Mr. Schmidt — creator of the rope installation in the lobby of Ace Hotel & Swim Club and fashion-luminary wardrobe-maker — and 3D design evangelists Michael Curry and Duann Scott from MakerBot and Shapeways, respectively, as well as Brooks Hagan, textile artist and Acting Head of the Textile Department at RISD.
Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life was an ambitious exhibition that took over Vancouver Art Gallery from Spring-Summer 2013. It surveyed hotel design past and present, while exploring the role contemporary hotels play in generating new cultural ideas and social modes.
In addition to exhibiting our hotel-work — with examples of our designs, dynamic social spaces and partnerships with companies like Pendleton, Pearl+ and Converse — they also extended an exclusive invitation to Atelier Ace to conceive and fabricate the lone pop-up shop for the Grand Hotel exhibition. We took it as an opportunity to draft up a miniature Atelier studio/dream fort — with custom wall graphics, inspirational images, custom furniture and vintage wares — providing the exhibition with a new model for the traditional gallery shop.
Signature pieces were designed exclusively for the exhibit — including vintage-style wool caps made by Ebbets Field in Seattle, leather motel-style key fobs made in Portland by Tanner Goods, a "People come and go and nothing ever happens" tote inspired by the film Grand Hotel, screenprinted shirts with the Vancouver motto, and some event-specific postcards and notebooks.
Atelier also designed shirts inspired by classic usher uniforms for the gallery staff, and offered some staple Ace travel essentials from our partnerships with Wings + Horns, Reigning Champ, Alpha Industries, Pearl+ Soaps, and Centralia Knitting Mills.
We know how to use the internet. An ambitious satellite of the intricate Atelier Ace x Vans footwear nexus, Noise Grind came to life online as part of our unveiling of the Atelier Ace x Vans Era 59 shoes. Rolled out in advance of National Go Skate Day, Noise Grind is an interactive audio game designed and produced by Atelier that tests players' ability to identify skateboard tricks by ear. We worked closely with Vans to guide trackpad traffic to the site — with prizes including dishing out a new pair of Vans each month for a year, two nights at Ace Hotel Downtown LA to top scorers, and putting shoes on a ton of feet.
As part of the 2014 Salone del Mobile di Milano, Wallpaper* Magazine invited Atelier and Lovage — the farm-to-street juice window we concocted for Ace Hotel London Shoreditch — to set up a pop-up shop at their fifth annual "Handmade" showcase at Galleria l'Eclettico. It's a carefully curated gallery of brands and design creatives, with the keen eyes at Wallpaper* acting as "client, patron and creative director" — commissioning new and singular furniture and fittings from artists, craftspeople and manufacturers from around the world.
With a bespoke bar designed by architect Carl Turner in collaboration with the American Hardwood Export Council, Atelier replenished the design-drained masses with the greatest hits from Lovage's London menu with a five day wellness laboratory.