The social architect

The Times profiles Faris Al-Shathir, a new type of New York socialite.

Faris Al-Shathir represents a new kind of New York socialite, one who makes creative connections for a living. The NYTimes outlines Al-Shathir's climb in a gushing profile of the "30 year old underemployed architect."

As an architect, Al-Shathir works on temporary retail installations in quirky spaces, but his most significant contribution to the creative community is as a founding partner of the non-profit BOFFO. BOFFO fosters collaborations between fashion designers and architects, artists and communities, and theorists and writers. Most of the creative professionals are friends or friends-of-friends.

Some of the partnerships formed through BOFFO include the exploded mirror backdrop design that architecture firm Gage/Clemenceau created for designer (and creative director for Lady Gaga) Nicola Formichetti and the pop-up retail stores housed in a trailer beneath the High Line.

Between schmoozing and spin classes, Al-Shathir worries about the logistics of realizing creative ideas:

As the stakes are raised, so are the problems. Money is a constant nag. “It never ends,” Mr. Al-Shathir said, his shoulders sagging. “It has to be networking, finding the money, matching the right people together and finding the right people to talk about it.”

Al-Shathir and his organization are currently working on a welcome gate at Fire Island Pines designed by a fetish-wear designer and an exhibition for a night life and art photographer.

The Cool Kid From Joplin, Mo [NYTimes]

Image: Gage/Clemenceau

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