Sinclair Smith & Company is a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Brooklyn, NY. Our services include strategic consulting, industrial design and interior design.



Doyle & Doyle tray holding chair rail

Posted on May 15, 2011 in Architecture, Hardware, New York, Retail

Downtown jewelry store Doyle & Doyle has a clever chair rail detail throughout the interior that allows its employees to insert velvet jewelry trays into a reveal, thus holding them in place, enabling two handed operation of locked display cabinets and removal of jewelry, and catching anything that falls from the display mounts accidentally. It’s a highly functional and ergonomic design detail, integrated perfectly into the historic wall space of the chair rail. Our eye likes to see the chair rail as a pleasing horizontal line, but in a space without chairs, it is superfluous ornament. I love to see classical architectural ornament come to life with new uses!

And yes, I did get her something for mother’s day.

Nissan wins bid for new NYC Taxis

Posted on May 3, 2011 in New York, Transportation

Autoblog.com announced that Nissan will be making the next generation of yellow cab. Somewhere out there I read about some of its features. One of my favorites is that apparently the cab’s horn will connect to a flashing light on the outside of the cab so the public can tell which jerk is on the honker. Also sliding doors to prevent cyclists from getting doored. Ler’s see how parents and small kids are accommodated….

Solar on every telephone pole? New Jersey: “UGLY!”

Posted on Apr 28, 2011 in New York, sustaina-bling


I was caught by several things in todays article in the Times about 200,000 individual solar panels being mounted on telephone poles across New Jersey, but two facts stood out. First, I was surprised and pleased to learn that my neighboring state is second only to the green almighty California in its commitment to alternative energy and solar in particular. And second, the people of New Jersey are reacting to the panels dotting the landscape with cries of aesthetic outrage and defense of the bella vista. I didn’t know they had it in ‘em.

Personally, I fall in with the article author’s allusion to the artist Cristo, seeing these rectangles of shiny deep azure as a fun, if abstract, addition to the scenery. But the notion that our pristine mess of signage and telephone poles is being sullied by efforts to clean up the planet is a real hoot. It reminds me of Robert Crumb‘s Short History of America.

“Click to embiggen.”

Matchbooks of yore

Posted on Apr 6, 2011 in Food, graphic design, History, New York, Quotidien things


Eater NY has a cool post with some great matchbooks from old NYC restaurants. Some you may know, some you may not. Love the pancakes. More…

Infinite Variety

Posted on Apr 5, 2011 in Craft, History, New York, Quotidien things

Last Wednesday— it took a while to edit my photos— I made it to the Park Avenue Armory on the last of the five days that the American Folk Art Museum presented Infinite Variety, Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts from the remarkable collection assembled by Joanna S. Rose. As she tells it in the brochure, Mrs. Rose was asked by her husband, a prominent real estate developer, what she’d like for her 80th birthday, to which she replied something she’d never seen before and something for New York. Turns out she had never seen the entire collection of 651 red and white American quilts that she has collected over the years. The collection was gifted to the American Folk Museum and the Armory was rented to run the show for five days with free admission to the public. Thinc Design was hired to design the exhibit which they did with elegant simplicity, leaving the show to the scale of the collection and the space. The quilts float and glow against the darkness of the massive vault. The collection is a powerful study in simple form, pattern and repetition. It is also an awesome meditation on the love and handiwork of American women over the centuries. If you missed it I am truly sorry. There will be a book I gather. But for now dear reader, please accept my humble photographs.

Transportation alternatives, South Bronx style

Posted on Mar 29, 2011 in New York, Transportation

While scoping a job in the South Bronx today, I came upon this righteous sight, gingerly cable locked to the adjacent railing. Unfortunately I was not able to introduce myself to the badass in charge. But I assure you devoted reader, if I get this job, there will be more on the subject. Suffice it to say for now, Hunt’s Point must not have good bike lane infrastructure yet.

46 Grand St. Header

Posted on Mar 16, 2011 in Architecture, Brooklyn, History, New York, Uncategorized


Someone has been doing some work to the ground floor of 46 Grand St in Williamsburg and I have been checking out the beautiful existing cast iron structural work that frames the opening. Interestingly, the header that spans the original storefront opening and supports the upper brick facade is arched. But more interestingly, it has a truss rod beneath it. I assumed that the original storefront had needed an arched detail at the top, but that made no sense if it would only be interrupted by the rod. Then I realized that the rod is holding the beam in tension to maximize its load bearing potential across that 25-30 span without exerting lateral force on the neighbors to the East and West and without having to be posted in the middle somewhere, thus providing a wide open storefront. Beautiful 19th Century stuff.

Bobbing for Apples

Posted on Feb 22, 2011 in New York, Tech

Ok ok, so two Apple posts in a row– but this is cool! Besides, when in soho…. These guys are outside the Prince St Apple store with a small core driller, going down 70′ taking soil samples. For the EPA I ask? Nope, he shakes his head and nods to the building next to him. For Apple? What? Are they gonna dig down from the cellar and need to test soil and rock content? Something like that he says, looking down at a box of little jars of wet dirt marked with different depths and dates. Cool huh? More storage for Apple TVs?

Goodnight, Murder Avenue

Posted on Feb 16, 2011 in Architecture, Brooklyn, Education, New York

The New York Times gives Pratt Institute’s deserved attention to Myrtle Avenue some deserved attention of its own.