Hospitality Design - May/June 2012 - 85
pro le: todd bracher
By Ashleigh VanHouten Photography (clockwise from left) courtesy of Frank Ishman, Jeff Von Hoene, and HBF
Native New Yorker Todd Bracher, founder of his eponymous Brooklyn-based design and branding ﬁrm, boasts quite the resume: he studied industrial design at Pratt, cut his teeth with Tom Dixon, received a master’s degree in interior design and furniture from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design in Copenhagen, and lived in Paris, Milan, and London before returning to his hometown. The journey would prove life changing. “When I started [in industrial design] it was lacking poetry, concept, emotion,” he says. “In furniture design, I found those traits.” In the contract/hospitality market, Bracher has also had a varied career. He worked with Humanscale on the ergonomic and clean-lined Trea chair; created the Nest series of chairs and tables with HBF; and collaborated on the Strandelier with Swarovski, a piece consisting of only LED armature and crystals, dubbed the “Architect’s chandelier.” Bracher’s recent Music carpet collection with Shaw Contract Group was perhaps his most fascinating undertaking so far. “The project was very much about how music ﬁlls a room, your ears, your heart; how, then, can you ﬁll a room visually?” he says. Next up: a lighting collection for technology manufacturer 3M that will be unveiled this month and available for sale later this year. Explaining his decidedly un-aesthetic approach to design, Bracher uses the example of a tree: “You don’t judge it because it’s ugly. You can’t. It’s based on the laws of nature; this is why it looks the way it does. That’s how we approach design. We put together the research—what the product needs to do, how it should make people feel; it has its own ecosystem. A result may only look like a chair because one of the requirements is that you have to sit on it.” For instance, Bracher applied this organic concept to his T-No.1 table with Fritz Hansen. “We designed it in a way that’s honest and natural; there’s no styling about it,” he explains. It’s this constant learning process and collaboration that keeps him on his toes: “I don’t judge the result, I judge the process: what did I learn from it? That’s what gets me excited.” www.toddbracher.net
Clockwise from top left: Todd Bracher rests on the Trea chair he created with Humanscale; part of his Music carpet collection with Shaw Contract Group; and his clean-lined Nest tables with HBF.