Boston Home Spring 2010: Next Generation Design

Introducing the up-and-coming design pros who will shape the way we build our homes, decorate our living rooms, spend our free time, and think about the city in the decade to come.

Nikki Dalrymple, Acquire

Age: 31. Location: North End. Bio: Spent eight years as a television producer, then worked at Beacon Hill boutique Good before launching her own shop in 2008. What catches your eye? I don’t look for a certain type of antique or trend, or get hung up by the provenance of an item; instead, I find beauty in texture, color, and form. Why the North End? I love the dichotomy of old and new. We have 50-year-old cheese shops next to edgy clothing boutiques. Architecturally, the neighborhood appeals to my “old world” sensibility. I’m excited about the new boutique hotels opening here. Woodward at the Ames hotel is a fantastic blend of vintage luxury with a modern twist.

Stefane Barbeau, Vessel
Age: 38. Location: Chinatown. Bio: Raised in Ottawa; earned an industrial design degree from Carleton University; moved to Boston in 1999. After eight years at design firms, he began the Vessel label in 2001 and the retail store in 2003. What’s your design philosophy? [Cofounder Duane Smith] and I are more technical; we’re not into fashion or trends. We want to create products that have longevity, that will be in garage sales in 30 years. Why Chinatown? The initial attraction was from a “cheap, cool studio space” standpoint. But then—boom!—the Rose Kennedy Greenway happened, so we lucked out. Boston is second to Silicon Valley for product design in the U.S. Our footwear and medical-device industries have cultivated a really vibrant design community.