ABOUT
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ABOUT
MARK NADEN /
A BRIEF
CHRONOLOGY

Work featured in the permanent design collections of these institution’s:

2008 – NOW

In 2008 I formed a new design practice under the name MARKNADEN. Our mission? To design manufactured products both small and large. Whether boiling water for a cup of tea, taking a seat to relax or sheltering for home or work, we make life’s moments more enjoyable with smart, factory-made products and structures.

A Space Lost in Sweden: In 2007 I was working with the Swedish crystal company Orrefors as a consulting designer. In conversations with Swedish colleagues, I learned that coincidently, “MARKNADEN” means “Marketplace” in Swedish! Dropping the space stuck, and the new conjoined name became the studio’s brand, referencing our consumer product and commercial market focus.

2008 – 2016
LONDON INTERLUDE

After ten years on a job, it’s sometimes helpful to change the scenery. Leaving TODA, the company my partner and I lovingly coaxed into adolescence, caused a period of reflection, and moving to a new place seemed the right thing to do. Berlin, Tokyo, Rome were under consideration, but I settled on London with a long list of UK destinations I had never had the opportunity to visit.

While most of my work continued with US-based clients, walking the streets of London and surrounds every day provided just the change I needed.

1998 – 2008
TODA, NEW YORK

In 1998 I founded TODA, The Office of Design and Architecture, with partner and award-winning Creative Director Marcos Chavez. With an incredably talented team, the multi-disciplinary practice worked across the fields of communication design, branding, industrial design, and architecture, producing many award-winning projects for our clients.

TODA continues its excellent work to this day, operating from offices in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

1996 – 1998
TRAVEL AND ODD JOBS

Following graduate school, I embarked on two years of travel and odd jobs. First to Paris where architectural work sans a work visa was impossible, so sightseeing became the sole objective. Although, my interview with Architect Christian de Portzamparc at his Paris office was a highlight of my visit.

Visiting Northern California, I took a position with Hill Glazier in Palo Alto, where I designed the Hualalai Trading Co. at the Four Seasons Resort, Kona Coast, Hawaii, and Pottery Barn shops in New York. Traveling further north, I worked for a firm in Eureka designing the Humbold County Jail.

Arriving in New York, a friend kindly offered me a desk in his studio. I got to work on a product idea for a hot water kettle I had started mulling over while in Eureka. I pitched the concept to OXO. The Uplift Kettle took off; As did my industrial design work load.

1993 – 1996
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF ARCHITECTURE

Of all the top schools for architecture in the early 90s, Princeton, in my view, had the most challenging and thought-provoking faculty. And, with its scant acceptance rate, the best student to faculty ratio. These two factors created the conditions for what, in reflection, were the most valuable three years of my design education.

The faculty during my tenure was a diverse group of notable academics and professionals, including Elizabeth Diller, Michael Graves, Mario Gandelsonas, Beatriz Colomina, Mark Wigley, and Joel Sanders, and visiting critics: Álvaro Siza, Stanley Tigerman, Ricardo Scofidio, and Christine Boyer.

In 1996 I completed my studies and was awarded a Master of Architecture degree.

1992 & 1994
ATELIER ITALIA
VILLA ADRIANA

In preparation for Graduate School, I applied to participate in the SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture) Hadrian Villa summer program in 1992. The program, initiated and directed by architects Mary-Ann Ray and Robert Mangurian, undertook to re-measure Hadrian Villa for the first time since Giovanni Battista Piranesi made measurements and sketches of the ruins between 1764 – 1774. While Piranesi’s measurement instrument was a chain, overlaying measurements with modern instruments proved his work surprisingly accurate.

With Hadrian Villa occupying such an influential position in the history of architecture, to have the opportunity to tread in the footsteps of multitudes of architects and artists, including Emperor Hadrian himself, was an inspiration.

1988 – 1993
MICHAEL GRAVES
ARCHITECT

Starting in 1988 and for the following five years, I worked for renowned architect Michael Graves, eventually rising to the position of Senior Designer. As part of a four-person team overseen by Michael, we developed large-scale hotel, office, and mix-use projects across the United States and Asia.

My arrival coincided with the introduction of CAD into the project workflow. Marrying a famously tactile sketch-based design process to a CAD workflow was an exciting challenge. Michael embraced the new technology, one time referring to my computer-based participation in the design process in an interview, “I have a young designer in my office who sketches on-screen with the ease most people sketch on tracing paper.” With Michael’s early adoption of computers into architectural practice, the office today is one of the most technologically advanced.

1986 – 1988
FIRST JOB

My first position in architecture was in 1986 at the Los Angels firm Landon, Wilson Mumper, best known for designing the Getty Villa Museum in Malibu, California. The museum is a faithful re-creation of the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum in what is now Ercolano, southern Italy.

During my tenure at LWM, they specialized in providing associate architectural services to famous architects who had won commissions in and around Los Angeles. As an early adopter and one of a handful of architects in the firm proficient in CAD, I was put forward to liaise with these teams of out-of-town designers. The first project was I. M. Pei’s Beverly Hills Creative Artists Agency headquarters. Soon after, I was assigned to the team from Michael Graves on the Hyatt Hotel La Jolla. Before the project ended, I was offered a job at Michael Graves Princeton, NJ studio and bid LA farewell.

BEFORE ALL OF THAT

An Australian by birth, my family moved to the United States in 1970. First to Long Island, New York, and later to California. I protested the move at first, but in retrospect, California in the 70s and 80s was a great place to grow up.