BROOKLYN, NY, 10 August 2010: Susan Doban, CEO of Think Fabricate and Doban Architecture, is pleased to announce that the Brooklyn Museum has accepted a set of three porcelain dinner plates designed by Think Fabricate into the museum’s permanent decorative arts collection. The recently established collaborative design studio used modern digital techniques and contemporary color to depict the Brooklyn waterfront in a style that recalls the time-honored scenic plate tradition.

Each transferware plate features a portion of a lithographic print by Currier and Ives dated 1879 showing a “balloon view” of Brooklyn with its south and west waterfront in the foreground. The three details from the map used on the plates illustrate the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights, and the Navy Yard with Wallabout Bay in the foreground. The reverse side of the 8 3/8” diameter coupe-style plates depicts the Think Fabricate logo, a composition of two overlapping heads forming a light bulb, designed by Live from Brooklyn, a graphic design firm.
“We are thrilled and honored to have a product designed by Think Fabricate in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum,“ said Ms. Doban.

The plates were originally produced in a limited edition to coordinate with Think Fabricate’s display at the 2010 BKLYN Designs, an exhibition of contemporary furniture and home accessories made and/or designed in Brooklyn and sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. The Think Fabricate furniture collection presented at the show includes five lines of furniture designed and fabricated in Brooklyn using sustainable materials, natural wood, applied color, and historical motifs juxtaposed with modern forms.

Ms. Doban explained that, “Because Think Fabricate’s first collection included a wall-mounted display cabinet, it seemed fitting that we design a special group of plates to commemorate the event, and show our connection to Brooklyn, where we live and work. Because we view design holistically and from a multidisciplinary perspective, it is only natural for us to design not only the space but the furnishings, and, in this case, the china!”

“The color of the plates is taken from the blue in our logo. It’s a bit more intense and rich than a traditional Wedgewood blue, giving the historical imagery a modern appearance. In our interior design and architectural projects, we often find that the right color can make an important impact and breathe new life into a historical space,” said Ms. Doban.

She added that, “The set of plates, like much of our work, is the result of a collaborative effort, sparked by a strong personal interest. I have always been fascinated by the ornament used on plates, which are essentially a utilitarian item, but can take on the character of an art object. My search for an appropriate way to display my personal antique plate collection led to a design and construction process involving input from Jason Gorsline, now my business partner at Think Fabricate. The resulting china cabinet is now known as “Not your mother’s china cabinet” and was displayed as part of our collection at Brooklyn Designs. The plates themselves reflect the work of Dailey Crafton on our logo and related imagery for our printed materials, and the dedication and creativity of our marketing assistant, Willa Gross, who worked on the production of the plates.”

The Brooklyn Museum is one of the premier art institutions in the world, renowned for its diverse permanent collection which ranges from Ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art. The Museum’s holdings also include multi-cultural decorative arts, such as furniture and china, including scenic plates. The Think Fabricate plates are a gift of Susan Doban to the Museum.

Transfer printing can be traced to mid-eighteenth century England where consumers called for an affordable alternative to labor-intensive, costly, hand-painted china available only to the gentry. The traditional transferware process involves engraving a decorative image into a copper plate which is inked with ceramic ink and printed onto special tissue paper. The paper is then placed upon and thus transferred to the ceramic piece, which is then glazed and fired to permanently set the design. During the height of its popularity in the late 19th century the process of transferware printing was brought to America. To this day, it remains an accurate way to create ceramic multiples. However, the process of transfer printing has evolved to and now digitally made and printed images are in use.

Think Fabricate, LLC, founded in 2009 by Susan Doban and Jason Gorsline, is a multidisciplinary design studio that provides expertise in furniture, product, graphic, and industrial design; design research; and a fabrication shop. Doban Architecture, founded in 1996 by Susan Doban, is a Brooklyn-based architecture firm with award-winning educational, residential, and economic development projects. Working in collaboration, Think Fabricate and Doban Architecture design solutions for living, learning, and community. Think Fabricate projects currently include custom furnishings for the academic center and other projects at Monroe College, as well as custom furniture design for several residential projects.

Susan G. Doban, AIA, has a long-standing passion for plates, Brooklyn, and the built environment. She has designed numerous projects throughout Brooklyn including the residential portion of Red Hook Stores, home to Fairway Market, which won a Municipal Arts Society Masterworks Award. In the past five years, she has directed design of more than ten projects on new Rochelle’s Main Street, ranging from the New Rochelle Model Block façade improvement project which received a Preservation League of New York State 2008 Excellence in Historic Preservation award to the Culinary Arts Center at Monroe College which won a “Best of 2007” award from McGraw-Hill NY Construction and an Excellence in Interior Design award by American School and University magazine. Her firm has completed more than 60 capital improvement projects, most of them in Brooklyn, for the New York City School Construction Authority. She is on the executive committee of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of its Real Estate Development Committee. She has worked on many residential projects in Brooklyn and beyond and is co-chair of the House Committee at Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope.

More information about Think Fabricate and Doban Architecture is available at 718-797-1041 or through info@thinkfabricate.com. Visit Think Fabricate on Facebook or on the web at www.thinkfabricate.com.

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