Breaking the Mold
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 3/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
WHO: Michele Oka Doner.
WHAT: Cast-metal objects that turn nature into art.
HOW: "Working with Frances Halsband on a courthouse in Mississippi wasn't just about designing a lobby. It was understanding how people walk through space."
"I grew up in Miami Beach, where things always wash up on shore and fall out of trees," Michele Oka Doner says. "Now, I translate my fascination with nature into metal."
Doner Studio's coral, shells, and sea creatures in cast bronze and mother-of-pearl are embedded in the terrazzo floor of a Spillis Candela DMJM concourse at Miami International Airport. With R.M. Kliment & Frances Halsband Architects, she transformed a security entrance at the Dan M. Russell, Jr., U.S. Courthouse in Gulfport, Mississippi, into a haunting world of laser-cut steel. Inlaid vines of aluminum and bronze enliven the terrazzo floor at New York's Center for Jewish History by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners. Meanwhile, an expanse of gilded laser-cut steel hovers just below the ceiling at Hong Kong's Joyce fashion boutique by Gert Voorjans.
Doner does small, too—she's fashioned silver jewelry for Christofle. Next up, a 2007 solo show at the Marlborough Gallery, New York.