Think of Fort Makers as a factory for the imagination. Artist collective, design group, builders, makers. These are all also accurate terms, but none of them are quite sufficient enough to describe the super creative four-person group based near the Brooklyn Navy Yard that just launched an online shop.
Fort Makers came together in 2008 when Nana Spears, Noah Spencer and Naomi Clark all met each other in Fort Greene. Their friendship grew into an artistic collaboration and then expanded into a sort of endless stream of designs and creative projects that has taken them to places like Marfa, Pennsylvania and Dumbo for various projects and installations. Later jewelry maker Elizabeth Whitcomb joined and completed the group.
When I went to visit Fort Makers at their studio they had been working on a variety of projects including pillows, candle holders, LED lights, cutting boards, mobiles, scarves and a record player console hewn from wood. The one thing that struck me about the group while visiting their space was their boundless creativity. They’re not governed by any rules or limits regarding product design, marketing, etc. They really just make whatever it is they dream up, and they have fun doing it.
For example, when I went to visit they were finishing up a tepee which they were going to set up on the roof of their studio building before permanently installing it at a private residence outside of the city. You can see pictures of that project on their Facebook page.
Fort Makers also makes jewelry and dresses and they were also beginning to discuss the set for the MoMa PS1 summer concert shows in Long Island City. This year will be the fourth year in a row that Fort Makers has designed the stage art for MoMa PS1.
Like I said...an endless stream of creativity.
To see more of Fort Makers and their unbound creativity and optimism, check out these upcoming events:
Fort Makers and Reclaim 3: Carte Blanche
May 15th for a celebration of design for Doctors without Borders
Colony, 324 Canal Street, 2nd Floor
Sight Unseen Offsite Show
May 16–20, 2014
200 Lafayette Street
New York, NY