Diorama Queens

Keilhauer?-?the family-owned contract furniture company?-?recently unveiled two new dioramas in its showroom at the New York Design Center. Created by Canadian artists Annie Thompson and Joanna Notkin, they function similar to store windows, dramatically designed to draw people into the space. “We have a longstanding tradition of tapping artistic talent to create displays in Keilhauer’s facilities,” says Jackie Maze, vice president of sales and marketing, Keilhauer. “These newest displays were created by two very different artists/designers who stepped out of their traditional ways of working to collaborate on this project.”

Thompson, a Toronto-based fashion designer and artist who has created displays for Keilhauer in the past, came up with whimsical, human-like figures made from cotton muslin and outlined with white panel nails to add texture and definition. Montreal-based Notkin, founder of LoooLo Textiles, was commissioned to develop a creative method of displaying and promoting Keilhauer Leather, a division of the company launched last year. Inspired by her own decorative home pieces, the display features 12,000 small pieces of leather fixed to the walls and floors of the dioramas?-?creating a textured backdrop for Thompson’s sculptures, and a selection of new Keilhauer lounge chairs, which are upholstered in complementary leather colours.

“The dioramas are definitely doing their job by attracting people into the space,” says Maze. “Everyone who enters our showroom is intrigued and compelled to get a closer look, which, of course, means that they are also seeing our furniture vignettes as they walk through the showroom. I’m delighted with the results of this unique collaboration.”