Elements of architecture on the wall

Designer David Nosanchuk first fell in love with architecture through a camera lens. As a college student shooting his alma mater, Michigan’s famed Cranbrook School, he began to take note of the way light illuminated the campus buildings. This exploration of the interplay of light and architecture, a recurring theme through the designer’s career, informs his new “Super Series” of wallpapers for Brooklyn, NY-based wallcoverings manufacturer Flavor Paper. The collection is an architectural voyage from Nosanchuk’s home base of New York City to the churches of Rome, taking elements from wood benches and stained-glass windows to skylights and sculptures and re-imagining them in hand crafted, kaleidoscopic patterns that have a distinctly digital feel.

The blueprint for the collection crystallized for Nosanchuk following a trip to Rome, where the designer spent time photographing architectural icons – including the Pantheon, Borromini’s Quattro Fontane Church, and Bernini’s Colonnade at St. Peter’s Bas+ilica – and studying the way the light illuminated and enhanced each structure’s unique details. Playing with his own photographs one night, he discovered that he could cut, reposition and repeat existing elements in the images to create an entirely new architecture.

In April 2012, Nosanchuk met Flavor Paper founder Jon Sherman, when they were both featured artists and speakers at The Museum of the City of New York + The South Street Seaport Museum’s Made in New York Exhibition. There, Nosanchuk shared his vision for the wallpaper collection, and the collaboration was born. Together, Sherman and Nosanchuk narrowed down and refined the selection, developing the first wallpaper designs for the collection. Future field trips – including local New York City buildings and cultural institutions – yielded additional photographs for Nosanchuk’s pattern play and completed the series of seven prints.

“Typically, people pick a discipline and explore ideas through it,” Nosanchuk says. “Throughout my career, I’ve focused on a singular idea – this concept of the patterns that emerge through illumination – and explored it through multiple disciplines including furniture, lighting and rug design. The collaboration with Flavor Paper offered another fantastic medium for this exploration, and they were more than willing to join me on the journey.”

Nosanchuk’s designs create the distinct impression of relief in a two-dimensional format, giving each a unique depth with their interplay of bright, sunlit spots and shaded areas. Each pattern is truly two papers in one – from a distance the designs are abstract and textural, but as the viewer approaches, details like windows, columns and apses emerge allowing a glimpse into the subject’s former life.

“The pattern Di Sotto In Su, for instance,” says Nosanchuk, “is a reinvention of the ceiling dome from San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane Church by Borromini. I love the idea that you can make something uniquely fantastic out of something that was already fantastic.”

In addition to Di Sotto In Su, the Flavor Paper collection includes: Brillante, a repetitive diamond pattern based on an out-of-focus image of wood benches within Quattro Fontane; Beggars Banquet, a cornucopia pattern of color and light, derived from a digital reinterpretation of an early-20th-century stained-glass window photographed in New York; Inbetween, a kaleidoscope of a skylight from a New York building interior, made by mirroring and multiplying a single image; Light of Rome, a retranslation of the interior of the Roman-era Pantheon through the manipulation of a single image of the light-emitting oculus and lower interior band of apses; Golden Relief, a golden, hexagonal geometric pattern of luminous material translated from a single detail of late-19th-century sculpture of a woman found in New York; and Colonnade, Nosanchuk’s translation of Bernini’s through mirroring and scale.

“The idea of architecture as an interior-design element is fascinating to Flavor Paper,” says company founder Jon Sherman. “We’re very aware that our products take existing architecture to new heights, but using architectural images to further enhance and adorn interior architecture is a particularly wild concept and we are very excited by the results.“

For more information on Flavor Paper, visit www.FlavorPaper.com.


Flavor Paper is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Founder and creative director Jon Sherman’s original New Orleans startup and the subsequent development of the Flavor Paper manufacturing facility on Pacific Street in Brooklyn, has successfully wallpapered millions of square feet around the globe. Flavor Paper continues to collaborate with Tibi fashion house, Kravitz Design, Milton Glaser, and most recently, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts. Clients at the firm span from the architectural IAC Building by Frank Gehry in New York, to sports brand Nike, fashion retailer Steve Madden, the international W Hotels and more.