Dirty and downtrodden, forsaken and feared: this was Downtown New York, circa 1977—a hothouse of creative impulses that flew in the face of restrictions and ran headlong toward riotous expression. Punk, hip-hop, graffiti or neoexpressionism, artists, writers, designers and performers conceived languages that spoke—or shouted—their way into mainstream consciousness. In this unique environment, a collective of artists, designers and craftsmen came together who challenged the boundaries between art and design, forging a new hybrid language in three dimensions: art furniture. Summoned by the downtown cultural impresario Rick Kaufmann, the members of Art et Industrie boldly bridged the conceptual gap between art and design at a time when both sides were entrenched in prejudice. The furniture that resulted from this fertile period of American creativity defies aesthetic categorization but in the words of Kaufmann, shared in the collective experiment of “redefining the object for the furniture.” Art et Industrie is the first publication to document the genesis of this uniquely New York movement in art and design. Tracing its origins to an unlikely combination of places—from the refined halls of Art Nouveau salons in Paris to industrial shops of Detroit, to a Yugoslavian freighter bound for Morocco and a punk club on the Bowery—the book sheds light on a compelling moment of cultural history that bears ever greater resonance for our hybrid times.