May 19, 2020

Adam Rolston Talks Transformation & Design on Hello Cindy!

Adam Rolston of INC Architecture & Design, and a recent NYCxDesign winner, joined Interior Design Editor in Chief Cindy Allen (@thecindygram) for her daily Instagram Live show, Hello Cindy!  After the INC studio closed in March and the team went digital, Rolston realized how much more efficient everyone has been working. “I’ve been joking that I experienced the five stages of grief… and now I’m on acceptance,” he says. 

As Rolston treated viewers to a stroll onto the deck in his forested backyard, Allen went through a few of of INC’s award-winning interiors—the first being a ground-up build done for OMA New York in collaboration with Shohei Shigematsu. Shigematsu brought, as Rolston says, a “masculine, tectonic” palette to the project that Rolston’s “feminine refinement” style complimented well. “It’s so edited, that’s what we like so much,” Allen explains. The TWA Hotel—the massive flight center turned hospitality space—is one example of INC’s highly innovative renovations. INC’s contribution to the multi-firm collaboration includes a theater where “high performance nostalgia” served as the design driver. “When I think of nostalgia being the program, that’s [expletive] interesting to me,” Rolston says. INC transformed a former baggage-claim area into a small ballroom illuminated with custom ceiling fixtures that more than make up for the lack of windows.

As for the rest of the INC team, Rolston reports that they are healthy and well. Already, INC has virtually signed a project with a client that the team met online. “The team has been remarkable, I almost get emotional after the calls,” Rolston said about the collaboration. “We’re not going to go back to what we used to do,” he says, “we [at the studio] are thinking of this as an accelerator… we were already taking consult meeting across town on video. And now, we’re going to do more of it.” 

When predicting how health and wellness design will change going forward, Rolston says “spaces that make you feel well” are going to be a big part of process. Allen then touched on the need for some sort of beautification when it comes to the science and technological elements around health and wellness, such as anti-microbial fabrics. “We’re going to take all this and make our spaces safer,” Rolston added in agreement.

Rolston’s home office features a wooden desk and ergonomic chair and, as with many others in quarantine, he has gotten the kick to cook and showed off a recent homemade spanakopita. “I’ve become vegetarian,” he says—another development during this pandemic. While Allen and Rolston both wished they could cap the chat off with a hug, the pair was happy to come together online. Per Rolston, “we need each other,” not just as friends, but as a global community working together. 

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