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Phase 1 of Spring Studios NY. VIP suite interior furniture and art curated by Andree Cooke.
8th November 2017

New Zetteler Client: Andrée Cooke

“People like labels and so they feel comfortable calling me an interior designer,” says Andrée Cooke. “I consider myself a contemporary design and art specialist with a range of skills and applications for what I do. Interior arrangements is one of those threads.”

Try as you might, it is impossible to pigeon hole Andrée Cooke’s career. A seasoned curator and interiors visionary, Andrée has spent the last three decades working in contemporary art and design. Having directed three galleries – The British Council Window Gallery, Spring Projects and David Gill Galleries  – in 2013 Andrée took the leap into the world of freelance. For two years she worked as an independent arts consultant before establishing her eponymous company in 2015.

Today Andrée works as an art and interior consultant and specialises in sourcing and commissioning vintage furniture and contemporary art and design for public and private spaces across the world. Her most recent project involved purchasing rarefied vintage furniture and contemporary design, as well as commissioning new bodies of artwork, to furnish Spring Studios’ 130,000ft² space in New York. No biggie.

We were introduced to Andrée through a project with designer Michael Marriott and were bowled over by the scope of her work and the breadth of her experience in the art and design world. It’s no surprise that we leaped at the chance to have her on the Zetteler books.

Here’s Andrée in her own words…

Phase 1 of Spring Studios NY. VIP suite interior furniture and art curated by Andree Cooke

In what ways has the art world changed since you started out?

When I first trained, artists were focused on being involved in a field of creative discovery which wasn’t dictated by the marketplace in the way that it is today. There was not the volume of commercial galleries in London that there is now. Buying, collecting and selling art wasn’t as evolved. In the 1990s I began working across the fields of art and design, in an area of practice that was in a formative phase. The crossover between design and art, and the resulting pieces, is still an area that I love and is the mainstay of what I do. I commission pieces by designers including El Ultimo Grito, Martino Gamper, Hussein Chalayan and Studio Makkink & Bey. These commissions tend to be more experimental rather than just straight product design.

You’ve been instrumental in developing the careers of many well known artists. Have you ever felt like the power behind the throne?

I don’t think like that. I love what I do and I am grateful when I have the opportunity to do something  to the best of my ability. I love working alongside artists and designers – I have a close knit relationship with them and always strive to get the best from them creatively. I feel hugely privileged to have had this career, and for people to have supported me and provided opportunities to do what I love.

Phase 1 of Spring Place NY. Detail of commissioned communal work table by Martino Gamper

When did the scope of your work first expand into the realm of interior design?

About four years ago Spring Studios, where I was working at time running its gallery Spring Projects, put me forward to do the interior design of an innovation centre being created by one of its multinational corporate clients. That was my first large-scale project and I provided all the furniture and art for the centre.

After that I was asked to work on the furniture and contemporary art and design commissions for Spring Studios in New York, which opened in 2015, and then on Spring Place. Concurrently I’ve worked on residential projects for private clients. I’m mostly hired for my sense of taste and how I combine vintage furniture pieces with new design commissions and contemporary art.

Is there something specific that attracts you personally to a creative and their work?

I couldn’t tell you what those ingredients are, I just know when I see it!

What led you to move from working for galleries and institutions to launching your own company?

I loved running spaces, both in the public and private sector, but I wanted to go out on my own. I like being able to work on lots of different types of projects and in different ways concurrently. Working for somebody else didn’t easily enable that process. Now I get to work on several interior and curatorial exhibition projects, or brand strategy, at the same time. It’s great!

Pop-up Cafe by Studio Makkink & Bey for Spring Place

What sort of clients do you take on and what do you offer them?

I work on large-scale interior and small-scale residential projects; bespoke commissions for private, public, retail spaces. I also work on strategic brand development for arts organisations and commercial companies. Normally, clients who are interested in both high-end vintage pieces and contemporary pieces tend to approach me. That said, my recent project with King Alfred School is aiming to bring financially more accessible contemporary design to a younger audience. I take on clients who know my work and like what I do.

What inspires you to do what you do? Would you say you had a personal mission?

I find all aspects of creativity enriching. I believe in the value of creativity in people’s lives, and like opportunities when I know that the work I do will touch many people’s lives. On a personal level, I love working with creative people and have been blessed to work with some amazing artists and designers. Giving visibility to their work, as well as my own, is hugely rewarding. I hope the shows I do and the environments I create are inspiring, thought provoking and uplifting.

What’s the most common misconception about what you do?  

People like labels and so they feel comfortable calling me an interior designer. I consider myself a contemporary design and art specialist with a range of skills and applications for what I do – interior curation being one of those threads.

Phase 1 of Spring Place NY. Chair detail in The Music Room.
Learn more about Andrée Cooke on her website here.
Contact:

Studio 3
De Beauvoir Block
92 De Beauvoir Road
N1 4EN

hello@zetteler.co.uk
+44 (0)20 3735 5855