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Recently a friend from California made the comment “Brooklyn is the hippest place on earth.”

And I thought, I live in Brooklyn.  Well, actually Brooklyn Heights.

But the truth is Brooklyn is enormous, and has countless distinct neighborhoods including a multitude of ethnic groups – and the entire range of the socioeconomic spectrum – as well as pockets of unique and creative enterprises.

And while my neighborhood is very beautiful, it most certainly is not hip.

Now I admit I am older than 22; I have not grown the ubiquitous Brooklyn beard; and while I have seen and done some very cool things in Brooklyn, I cannot say I am on the pulse of all things Brooklyn.

I was looking forward to Day 2 of the Design Leadership Summit 2014 at Industry City in Brooklyn – wherever that turned out to be….

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Industry City – Sunset Park Brooklyn

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Industry City Founder Michael Phillips welcomed the Design Leadership Summit to the enormous IC campus – a 6-million square foot collection of warehouse structures situated on the waterfront in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  Industry City is seeking to be THE center of Brooklyn ‘Maker Culture’ – the vast spaces allow for start-ups, innovators, manufacturers, artist and even a distillery: Industry City Distillery. Spaces as small as 350 square feet or as large as you need or want are available in this increasingly vital and dynamic community.

Some of the day’s programming focused on the ‘Maker Revolution’, the importance of craft and what it means to be ‘Made in Brooklyn’.


State of Design Education

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The Executive Dean of Parsons The New School – Joel Towers, led a panel of brilliant design educators on their views of what is – and is not – happening in today’s education of designers, while suggesting dynamic and provocative proposals for the future around creativity and innovation, urban living and the environment. The panel included Dr. Sharon Sutton of the University of WashingtonMiodrag Mistrasionvic of Parsons The New School and Cameron Tonkinwise of Carnegie Mellon.


Moments of Inspiration (and Grace under Pressure) from Victoria Hagan

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The presentation of current projects and inspirations by Victoria Hagan was derailed by a technical snafu – a potentially awkward situation that Victoria handled with grace and humor. While they were working to fix the problem I had an opportunity to catch up with my long time friend to hear about her now grown boys, life and work as a mother, and to share in some recent news about my life and business.

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Design Brooklyn

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Author and Design Blogger Anne Hellmen had a conversation with Mike D from the Beastie Boys about his design-build work in Brooklyn (and Malibu).

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And then Hellman spoke with a distinct group of architects, design-builders and entrepreneurs that can be seen as examples of the kinds of design practices that have emerged in the hippest borough of New York.

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Architect Jeff Sherman – SITU Studio Bradley Samuels, Uhuru Design and Dan Husserl


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Katie Leede, me, Peter Sallick and Richard Mishaan.


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This year’s ‘closing dinner’ was an offbeat Brooklyn selection – Brooklyn Bowl

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Not everyone partook in the sport of ‘gutter balls’;  here Joan Michaels  is caught candidly savoring a moment with a martini…



On Friday I’ll share a bit of what I experienced on the the last day of the summit – a tour of Brooklyn Makers’ Studios.

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Photographs from the DLS 2014 Summit – courtesy Editor-at-Large