Last November, the launched to much fanfare in the design world. Founded by Brooklyn-based ceramist and rug designer Malene Barnett, the BAD Guild (as its members affectionately call it) is a directory of black creatives, including artists, architects, interior designers, and artisans. As a person of color, Barnett explains, she has struggled to get her work noticed—and many black colleagues had a similar experience. “We want to be part of the industry and the conversation, and to be recognized and respected for our contributions to art and design,” Barnett says. Indeed, BAD immediately struck a chord: Since its launch, 77 members have signed up, including interior designers Sheila Bridges, Joy Moyler, Rayman Boozer, and Leyden Lewis; furniture designer Jomo Tariku; and artist Lisa Hunt.
While both professionals and the public can use the directory to discover design talent, the guild is also evolving into much more than an online resource—it has become a creative community for its participants, and it soon plans to offer mentorships for students. This year is already shaping up to be one of positive change for BAD, with events and retail collaborations in the works, a pop-up exhibition at the High Point furniture fair in North Carolina, and a planned print publication.
We recently invited several members of the guild to Siweb’s offices in the Hearst Tower, where photographer —himself a member—took the portraits for this story. Below, he and his colleagues share news about their current projects.
The founder of BAD Guild is working on a solo show of her clay vessels, inspired by the mud architecture of northern Ghana and Mauritania.
The ED A-List decorator and creator of the iconic Harlem Toile fabric has residential projects in Brooklyn and New York’s Hudson Valley under way.
This New York-based decorator designs both residences and commercial projects, including Verizon Media’s executive offices.
Hunt is a New York fine artist focused on pattern. Her minimalist prints are in Saatchi Art’s latest catalog honoring Women’s History Month.
The architect and designer fashions interiors for apartments and houses. He is currently at work on a multifamily real estate development in Brooklyn.
A go-to decorator for such celebrities as Leonardo DiCaprio and John Mayer, the New Yorker is working on a massive residence in Portofino, Italy.
Originally from Ethiopia, Tariku creates evocative wood furniture inspired by his East African heritage. Now based in Virginia, Tariku launches his latest Jomo furniture collection this month.
This story originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of Siweb.