June 26, 2009 by Sarojini Seupersad
Harry Allen – The Future of Modern Design – By Jamie Sward
Modern designers are known for being innovative, creative and ahead of the curve. New York-based designer, Harry Allen is all of that and more. The founder and president of Harry Allen Design, Allen received his Masters in Industrial Design from the Pratt Institute. After graduating, Allen worked for Prescriptives Cosmetics, a New York-based beauty and skincare line. After designing counters and point-of-purchase displays for Allen opened up his own New York studio.
Allen’s first line of furniture, “Living Systems,” was a collection of modular tables and shelving, and showed at New York’s prestigious International Contemporary Furniture Fair in 1993. In addition to having own studio on Avenue A, Allen works with internationally renowned modern manufactures like Habitat, Dune, Magis and Areaware.
While Allen is predominantly known for his furniture designs, he’s achieved considerable success as an interior designer. Allen is responsible for the Moss Design Gallery in Soho, offices for Metropolis Magazine and the Guggenheim Museum, as well as various retail stores in LA, Taiwan and Japan. Allen also recently redesigned the packaging for cosmetics/skincare/haircare giant, Aveda’s new makeup line.
New York-based design company, Areaware collaborated with Allen to produce the Reality product line. This unusual line of home accessories included wall hooks and candle holders in the form of a human hand, a Banana Bowl, and a piggy bank, which was actually molded out of a real dead pig. In addition to product design, Allen found success as a lighting designer. He’s created fixtures for George Kovacs, Sputnik and Swarovski and his ceramic foam lamps were featured in the MoMA.
Among his many awards, Allen won the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award in interior design, the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s Modernism/Young Designer Award and the George Nelson Design Award from Interiors magazine for his lighting. No matter what your taste, there’s no denying Allen’s talent. As popular and stylish as modern furniture brands Knoll and Herman Miller are, they aren’t known for being too “outside of the box.” Harry Allen’s designs are certainly pushing boundaries left and right. Here’s to a future design icon!
As part of the marketing department at All Modern.com for over two years, Jamie Sward has grown to appreciate all facets of modern design. All Modern, part of CSN Stores, an online retailer specializing in modern and contemporary furniture, home accessories and lighting from some of the biggest names in modern furniture.