Allow us to introduce you to Adam Charlap Hyman, a game-changing young artist and interior designer—and Schumacher’s newest collaborator.
Before co-founding his bi-coastal architecture and design firm, Charlap Hyman & Herrero, he worked for several major home furnishings companies. Today, the 28-year-old transforms everything from opera sets to art galleries with a slightly surrealist approach. As soon as we saw the depth of his curiosity and scope of his creativity, we knew it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
“I love the way textile prints can visually enlarge a room by blurring the boundaries of a given space,” says Charlap Hyman, whose Schumacher designs run the gamut from snakes and insects to clouds and stars. “Expansive and atmospheric designs can imbue a room with a certain depth just like architectural changes can.”
We recently interviewed the design wunderkind, who gave us a tour of Charlap Hyman & Herrero’s New York studio—an airy loft overlooking a cobblestone street in the creative Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn. “We found the space through a friend from RISD who has a studio in the building,” recalls Charlap Hyman. “Funny enough, our parents considering moving into the very same space in the ‘80s when the building was mostly residential lofts.”
How would you describe your design ethos?
I try to design objects and spaces that have a soul, that are humorous and engage with history. Charlap Hyman & Herrero (CHH) is many things. It is the collaborative vision of Andre Herrero’s and my own, realized across the spectrum of design: Andre, an architect, and I, a designer, bring distinct skill sets to the table.
In this collection for Schumacher, we had a third partner: my mother, Pilar Almon, with whom we worked side by side to create these designs. We enjoy working with or for artists, and our work celebrates the overlaps between different palettes and points of view.
What inspires you?
I love to research the way historical figures and personalities have lived—how their taste was reflected in their possessions and how they understood design. Architecture and interior design can tell a sort of visual, physical autobiography. Another source of inspiration to me is design within the world of film, where a movie’s fictional aspect allows for a greater sense of design freedom. I love to weave references to movies and the characters in them into my work.
“One of my favorite projects was a set for the Baroque opera La Calisto at the Juilliard School. Our first collaboration with Pilar Almon, we designed a textile to cover the walls of the set depicting a forest landscape at dusk. The costumes were made of the same material, so the performers could blend into the walls when their characters hid from each other.”
Tell us about your Schumacher and PFM collections.
The Schumacher collection is playful and surrealistic. While the fabrics and wallpapers would certainly work in contexts as small as a powder room or pillow, my mother and I had actually imagined them during the design process as huge, tented rooms where everything is upholstered in one fabric. The rugs are eye-catching yet casual; the craftsmanship of the weaving is extraordinary.
What does your average day look like?
I wake up early, answer emails that have come in overnight, swim at a pool near my apartment and get a coffee while going to office, where I arrive around 9:00. From then on, every day is different: I have meetings with clients that take me all over the city, studio, gallery and site visits. I set aside one day a week to stay entirely in Dumbo to design and work on watercolor renderings that I propose to clients. My favorite coffee and pastry shop in DUMBO is called Burrow. It is a closet-sized place inside the lobby of a building on Jay Street run by a Japanese couple. In nicer weather, we eat our lunch down by the water, where there are nice views of Manhattan and the East River. I have several friends with studios in the neighborhood, and I like to visit them.