Design by Arts Corporation
by Michael J. Crosbie
The Practice in 20-Dozen Words
In 2000 Mike Latham formed Arts Corporation, a multimedia design firm that integrated his varied interests in architecture, art, and technology. The firm serves as the backbone for Latham's work in architecture, furniture design, and product design, and a springboard for his innovative work in sculpture and film.
In response to the economic realities of a new practice, small-scale commissions were frequently accepted and built to fit within third-party architectural designs. Building from the details up, disciplines such as sculpture and furniture manufacture became increasingly integral to the firm's work.
Arts Corporation in Its Own Words
Our architectural values in a dozen words:
Lines between disciplines do not exist. Our work serves to investigate interstices.
Why we practice in New York in two-dozen words:
New York is a distracting juggernaut. When used to benefit, there's no substitute. Working on anything in New York in 2011 is being everywhere.
Our architectural philosophy in three-dozen words:
Materials and program, with the least possible intervention from the individual, create the most rational architecture. The world is difficult enough without gratuitous criteria. Architecture starts with detail, and every detail is part of the architecture.
The inclusion of such work in several important collections of art, and its integration into its surroundings, were founding goals of the firm. Economical and speculative work, such as Arts Corporation's former loft workspace in Brooklyn, resulted in additional commissions for art and architectural work at larger scales.
Balancing the diverse work of the Arts Corporation has been a constant focus. In 2003 Latham was granted the Young Architects Award by the Architectural League of New York, and in 2005 he was commissioned to design a functional sculpture for the premier issue of Men's Vogue.
Current projects include the art film Business Plan, the story of the rise of Arts Corporation; and the company's girl band, the Acettes.
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This article is excerpted from New York Dozen: Gen X Architects by Michael J. Crosbie, copyright © 2011, Images Publishing Group, with permission of the author and of Arts Corporation.
Multimedia design firm Arts Corporation designed its company headquarters, a combination office and residential studio on Great Jones Street in Manhattan. Pivoting floor-to-ceiling bookshelves separate the library and bedroom spaces.
Photo: Evan Joseph
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A large room at the Arts Corporation headquarters accommodates workspace, storage space, a kitchen, and a dining area.
Photo: Hagen Stier
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