Steven Tatar, Creative Catalyst
Steven Tatar designs and builds environments, exhibits, stores, stage sets, cafes, galleries, parks, furniture, and lighting. His projects are known for their detailed craftsmanship, inventive combinations of materials, and narrative expression.

OHIO KNITTING MILLS  a flagship retail store 

Located in Brooklyn, the Ohio Knitting Mills store served as a retail experience and brand platform to introduce the brand to the important New York City market. The custom fixtures were all fabricated from materials recycled from the original knitting factory in Ohio and other industrial components.                         

                                                                                        design, fabrication, installation, marketing, merchandising

With the success of the label's first retail space in Brooklyn, NY, four more seasonal pop-up stores followed, all staged in the brand's hometown of Cleveland, O.                                                

                                                                                        design, fabrication, installation, marketing, merchandising

OPEN OFFICE  a coworking space

Presented with a 1970's open plan elementary school, the project brief asked for a flexible professional environment for a 21st c. workforce;  particularly entrepreneurs and freelancers. A stylishly sophisticated group of shared and private meeting and workspaces were created using lighting and furnishings that are a combination of Mid-Century classics and custom designed pieces that evoke the region's industrial roots.                                       

                                                                                                design, fabrication, installation, project management

"Meeting Place"  a public sculpture

To celebrate the company's centennial, American Greetings Corporation commissioned a monumental sculptural artwork for the entrance of their World Headquarters. The piece is constructed of three massive blocks of granite that support a 11' tall, 3,000 lbs. slab of fused glass. Water emerges from the base of the glass and flows over the black granite, pouring into the sandstone pool, which drains into the smaller red granite basin. The interlocking elemental materials and forms that give rise to this movement of water, the "essence of life", from the heart of the sculpture into the smaller, "personal" vessel suggests the core experience of the company's social products: sending expressions of caring and love from one to another.                                                                                                                                    design, engineering, fabrication, installation, project management

TEDxCLE a stage set

Asked to create a memorable staging for Cleveland's wildly popular annual TEDx event, I created a Rube Goldberg-inspired gizmo, an invocation of this industrial city's extravagantly inventive history.  The entire contraption was completely functional, and for the finale of the day, we set it in motion: a stuffed critter (lower left) creeps into a box trap which falls and sets off a sequence of interconnected mechanical events culminating in an electric fan being switched on and spinning a propeller which strums an amped electric guitar.                                                       

                                                                                                                                  design, fabrication, installation

POP-UP FASHION RUNWAY SHOW

To announce the opening of its winter pop up retail store, Ohio Knitting Mills staged a runway show inside an inflatable dome created by artist Jimmy Kuehnle.  The temporary space took over a parking lot next door to the OKM store for its opening party.

                                                                             design, installation, project management, model casting & styling

CORPORATE HISTORY WALL  a permanent narrative display 

When American Greetings built a new Creative Studios as its World Headquarters, I was asked to create a 42' long permanent display of the company's 110-year history. Photographs, artifacts, and ephemera spanning over a century of growth for this global business formed a front layer of materials. A curtain of color blocks printed on a continuous panel of transparent film that threads through a series of vertically mounted acrylic tubes evokes the massive ink presses the company uses to produce over 1 billion printed pieces of product annually; progressing from cool blue-greys at the 1906 beginning of the timeline to the current day section of warm orange-reds. Six foot high photographs of four-generations of the family that founded and still owns the business serve as a continuous backdrop for this colorful history.                                                                                                                                                                                                 curation, design, fabrication, installation, project management

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS  a guerilla PR campaign 

When LeBron James announced he might leave the Cavaliers at the end of his player contract, all of NE Ohio braced itself for losing its superstar native son.  The team's front office asked me to strategize and execute a guerrilla public campaign to urge  the MVP to stay in Cleveland.  Built around the theme of "HOME", the effort culminated in placing a version of LBJ's trademark game headband upon the city's iconic art-deco 'Guardians of Transportation' bridge piers. Though LeBron did depart the team for Miami, he chose to return to Cleveland when his Heat contract was up, stating his desire to "come home". Two seasons later, he led the Cavs to winning the NBA championship, the city's first professional sports title in 54 years.

                                                                                  strategy, positioning, design, installation, project management

Urb-O-Scope Viewing Stand   a streetscape intervention

As part of the Design Week Portland 2018 celebration, the Portland Bureau of Transportation sought proposals for temporary Park(ing) Day installations. This concept shifts an individual's views of the urban landscape by allowing them to step up 6-24" above the street, and focus their awareness on small details of the surrounding environment by looking through the simple viewing scopes mounted on posts.    24' w.                                                                    

                                                                                                                                  design, fabrication, installation

CLEVELAND SOAPBOX DERBY   a racetrack gateway  

Created as a collaboration between myself, the Cleveland district Soapbox Derby, a local vocational school, and the mason's union training program, stainless steel roadsters were mounted atop Ohio sandstone columns at the entrance to the track of the gravity-powered national racing program that teaches youth ages 10-17 engineering, craftsmanship, and sportsmanship.

                                                                                                 design, fabrication, installation, project management

A town in suburban St. Louis sought designs to create a pedestrian-bicycle bridgeway to link parts of their community that were separated by a heavy-volume highway. My solution proposed creating an architectural form that referred to the Fleurs-de-lis, the stylized lily symbol associated with the French explorers who were the first European settlers in the Mississippi River region.  The political winds in the municipality shifted before the project could be realized, and the bridge remains unbuilt.

BRIDGE PROPOSAL a pedestrian overpass linking neighborhoods