is a co-founder, along with Jeremy Levitt, of , a New York City-based design practice established in 2009. The Smithtown, New York-born Cohen earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University before heading to New York City to work at Sony Pictures. During that time, he retreated to the Education Alliance welding studios and the School of Visual Arts’ furniture and lighting studios. His love of design and fabrication drove him back to school, this time to the University of Toronto, School of Architecture, Landscape + Design to earn his Masters in Architecture. After graduating, he landed back in NYC at award-winning firm AvroKO, heading up hospitality projects located as far as Shanghai. He met Levitt while there and the two decided to branch off on their own in 2009 to launch Parts and Labor Design where they focus on high-end interiors, furniture and lighting design. Read on to find out what he loves and finds inspirational, in this Friday Five.
1. Always inspiring is my family, my crew, who help me be the best version of myself. Some of the most inspiring times are those at our home in Woodstock, New York, where I can be still, think, and keep things simple. It’s always important to disconnect and breathe to inspire some perspective on life. I’m also obsessed with vintage auto design, so we take our ’75 Bronco out for a ride whenever we can.
2. Working in the hospitality design industry, I get to travel to some amazing places. We’re currently working on a project in Hong Kong and I get to travel there a handful of times a year. I like to look for the hidden gems wherever I am and have my go to spots whenever I’m in town. At Mrs. Pound’s, they serve a black tea negroni, Mr. Ming’s Negroni, which is a cultural twist on a classic. Another spot I frequent is Ronin. I’m a whiskey hound, so aside from the inventive and delicious food, I go for the drinks and the friendly faces. The drink on the left is their signature Sunday’s 3 + 7 Highball.
3. I’m continually inspired by fellow designers. A recent obsession is the Flags light fixture designed by Bec Brittain. Its conceptual, dynamic, modern, and simply stunning. I love that it’s fashion-forward in design and sculptural at the same time, with a nod to the work of Dan Flavin.
4. I couldn’t live without music 24/7, and my Spotify library is my lifeline. It keeps my mind ever-moving and allows me to focus on any given task at hand. I also love the fact that at this moment in time there are more artists creating music —accessible music — than ever before, and it blows my mind every time I hit play.
5. Charles and Ray Eames: for obvious reasons and not so obvious reasons. They inspire me as the most iconic of designers who changed the game of design forever. They were holistic in their approach to the world both in architecture and furniture design, but also inspiring because they were entrepreneurial trail blazers in the design world, which is rare. Their work was always about design as a solution, not just a luxury. And it was just as much about the industry as it was about art and style. They never seemed to take themselves too seriously but were always serious about their work. For me it doesn’t get any better than that.