By Joe Meny
30 Gansevoort St, NY 10014
Establishment. Say the word, and one thinks of fixed, conservative, or even boring. Step through the doors of this Thai-focused, though multi-national, design store located in the heart of New York’s Meatpacking district, and you enter a world that is anything but boring. Thai designer Ungkun Chansavangwonk has created an environment where Thai, American, and other international designers can begin to get their footing. For more than 2 years now, Establishment has remained an experimental space that has helped to promote modern Thai culture alongside works from international artists, displaying never-before-seen, handcrafted furniture and decorative arts. During the ICFF’s opening weekend here in New York City, Establishment was the place to be on Saturday evening, May 16, as it hosted a reception for Italian artist Alex Turco.
Located at 30 Gansevoort Street, the spacious, 600 square foot space, complete with skylight for a brilliant splash of natural lighting, welcomes you in with its unique sense of style, design, and presentation. The entire store is painted blanche white, which supports Chansavangwonk’s belief in “openness where you can see and think clearly.”
The green movement has always been in the forefront among Thai artisans and craft makers, which resonates with New York shoppers who look for something that is truly different. “In Thailand, we’ve always been green and sustainable because of what resources we have.” None of the items found at Establishment are mass produced. The collection at Establishment is constantly evolving, with many items in limited production. Twice a year, Chansavangwonk heads back to Thailand in search of new talent. What does he look for? “It’s all about the material, color, and form,” he says. “It has to be sensual, comfortable, touchable and pleasing to all the senses.”
Among Establishment’s loyal customer base is world renowned interior designer Jamie Drake. When asked to describe the mix of design items found at Establishment, Drake chooses his words carefully: “provocative, unusual, surprising, delight the eye and challenge the mind.”
A frequent stop by the city’s best designers, this furnishings showroom reflects a “warm modernist”, or “organic minimalist” atmosphere as defined by Establishment’s creator and owner Ungkun Chansavangwonk. Whether it’s a gallery or boutique, Establishment has become a destination in the Meatpacking District for both shoppers and art lovers alike.