A fire-damaged print factory in NYC’s Chinatown may not seem like the ideal space for a showroom, but for designer Anna Karlin, it was the perfect canvas. A London-native, Karlin quit her job at a prestigious design firm in 2006 to move to Manhattan and launch her own art-direction studio.
“I needed someplace where I could communicate what’s going on inside my head,” says Karlin in an interview with Architectural Digest. Her practice now includes a variety of mediums ranging from interior design, to jewelry design to branding, landing clients such as Adidas and Fendi.
Karlin approached the renovation of her new Chinatown outpost with assurance, transforming the space with a mix of the old and the new. The two-floor atelier serves as a combination studio, showroom and workspace. Karlin told the team at Dezeen that the unfinished look references wabi-sabi, a Japanese principle that celebrates the incomplete. She describes her showroom as “perfect in its imperfections” – a notion we could all subscribe a bit more to.