We are planners-designers who align old buildings and their past purposes with new owners to create cultural dialogues with identity defined by your sense of beauty and your biography expressed through your history, objects, and stories. Our studio creates aesthetic spaces for life and work — places that reveal who you are and what you value.
We strategically visualize concepts from the outside-in and the inside-out because each of us is constantly interacting with where we live, work, eat, rest, and play.
We want to know what attracted you to the building or block; daily rhythms; artifacts you treasure; structural elements to be accentuated or diminished; program and design objectives; how you, the property, and the site may change over time.
These tangibles and intangibles are the pulses that transform interior and exterior spaces to produce physical, social, and emotional coherence, whether as a private residence, public district, or commercial enterprise.
Throughout our lives we shift focus, preferences, priorities, communities. It is rare to permanently fix our live-work spaces because needs and desires fluctuate. Recall how a mood changes when a painting or a chair is relocated, a color is added or subtracted, a room function is altered, kerning and synthesis is applied.
New spaces in old buildings should create emotions not abstractions; real life not stiffness; places that nurture as we cross thresholds from day to day, moment to moment, in contextual connection. Sometimes our environments seem like strangers we bump into on the street, other times we intentionally manifest our sweethearts. When we truly see one another in each other, it is a love affair with our surroundings — two forms momentarily merged into one where every gesture is mutually affirming and reverberates with beauty.
This is the experience of homecoming and should be the way we feel about the community where we live, the street where we work, the places where we gather, the tables where we dine, the rooms where we dream, the windows through which we look.
Life is nuanced, layered, and fused by experience, appreciation of imaginatively beautiful work, and perceptions of our environments. What should your community, street, block, and home look like to make it resonate and feel gratifying?
An assortment of found photos that inspire.
Janet Kagan is Founding Partner of Art-Force. She leads strategic planning and design for all initiatives and field-directs studio work in neglected neighborhoods and rural areas to creatively address social, economic, and physical injustice. Working in partnerships with local leaders, artists, artisans, designers, and nonprofits, each project recognizes and strengthens cultural, artistic, and aesthetic imprints of place. On occasion, she assists private clients with home acquisitions and|or renovations.
We welcome the opportunity to share with you additional information about the studio and our projects. If you are interested in learning more about Fellowship Opportunities for creatives seeking to extend their talent and deepen their craft, or our Acknowledgment of outstanding creativity in neighborhood development expressed in spaces that are original and inspiring, please be in touch.
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