Open Concept

STEPHANIE GRANADA
STEPHANIE GRANADA
published on March 9, 2022

Yoselin Alonso has long understood that interior design is more than surface aesthetics. Growing up with a dad who works in construction, she started to learn the ins and outs of the industry early on.

By the time she got to college, she already knew how to take down a door, put on a baseboard and build stairs. “My dad always pushed us to know more than you’re expected to know at a young age,” Alonso says. When he’d finish a project, he’d hand his daughter the blueprints and let her have at it. Like many kids who grow up to practice architecture or design, she’d spend hours playing with LEGOs, trying to recreate her dad’s floorplans. Her mom’s work as a seamstress solidified Alonso’s hunger for creativity: “I always liked to work with my hands.”

Hands-on is a key descriptor for her role at METHOD & CONCEPT, where she works alongside Chad Jensen to conceive design projects. The work stretches beyond selecting finishes and furnishings. “There are a lot of misconceptions about interior design,” Alonso says, adding that while she was studying at the University of Florida, the faculty was talking about changing the interior design program’s name to interior architecture. “That’s really what it is: We develop the layout, work on the electrical engineering—ultimately, it’s everything that has to do with the functionality of the space.” 

This is especially true at METHOD & CONCEPT, a sister company of the Thomas Riley Artisans’ Guild. Run by Jensen, the company doubles as a design studio and a gallery for emerging and midcareer artists. “There aren’t a lot of places that think about design and art as a cohesive whole,” Alonso says. In all of their projects, artisanship plays a key role and spaces are planned to emphasize the artworks. Jensen and Alonso may turn to Thomas Riley to create custom furnishings or millwork to achieve a specific vision or fulfill a certain function, or conceive a room around a piece of art that the homeowner loves. “We use the artists as part of the design process,” she says.

Working with Jensen, Alonso is involved in every step of the process, from helping conceive designs to attending client meetings and site visits to ordering materials to creating the plans. She’s especially apt at creating 3D renderings of projects–something Jensen says was missing until Alonso came around. She’s also helping develop METHOD & CONCEPT’s proprietary line of soft goods, slated to debut next season.

When he was looking to fill the associate interior designer position, Jensen admits he was looking for a unicorn. He was drawn to Alonso for her appreciation of art and design, her grit and the dualities in her personality. “She presents herself so polished and well-spoken, but then you see her driving and loading a pick-up truck and wanting to get her hands dirty,” he says. The two speak a similar language, with projects guided by intentionality—considering how the person will feel in each space, how the space is used, and how any given scene in the home changes throughout the day. In Alonso, Jensen also finds an essential trait that is hard to teach: sincere passion for the craft and eagerness to learn. After a long week at the gallery. The young designer is eager to go into the studio on weekends to learn from Jensen, who is also a practicing artist and maker, creating furniture and functional art objects.

When she thinks about her personal creative pursuits, Alonso often draws inspiration from her parents’ native Mexico, recalling places like Las Pozas, a surrealist garden by Edward James, located in the mountains of Xilitla, with only one road in and out. “There are so many beautiful places in Mexico that people don’t even know about,” she says. “That inspires me—the sense of discovery.”

And, that’s what she aims to capture in her work. At 27, Alonso is quickly developing her style. Jensen and the METHOD & CONCEPT team are a powerful influence, as is the pull to be close to family in Bonita Springs. “This is the place and spot, and exactly where I want to be,” she says.

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Sarah Baker

Art & Design Coordinator

Sarah Baker is inspired by artist studio practices and as the Art and Design Coordinator at METHOD & CONCEPT she is dedicated to supporting the creative process. A graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University, Fine Art program, Sarah is active in the SWFL art & design culture and is an artist in her own right.Integrating her skillset at a maker with expertise and knowledge of fibers and textiles, Sarah collaborates with METHOD & CONCEPT teams to provide an informed experience for art collectors and interior design clients.

Yose Alonso

Associate Interior Designer

Yoselin Alonso is an Interior Designer who focuses on functional design and believes in constructing exclusive spaces that evoke emotion. Incorporating the unique diversity of each client, her design details are profound, ensuring one-of-a-kind personalized spaces. A graduate of University of Florida’s College of Design, Alonso harnesses conceptual and practical skills that bring spaces to life from planning and construction through to the finest of details. Having grown up around construction and design, Alonso is eager to make her mark in the design world as a part of the METHOD & CONCEPT team.

Amy Jensen

Gallery Manager

At METHOD & CONCEPT, Amy is a champion for artists and coordinates season exhibitions and special events as well as outreach and community projects working closely with artists, collectors and community partners. Drawing from an arts education and two decades of experience working in the arts and for non-profit institutions, Amy actively advocates for arts & culture and enhanced quality of life through her work as Gallery Manager for METHOD & CONCEPT and in the local community.

Chad Jensen

Creative Director & Managing Partner

Chad Jensen is an artist, furniture maker, designer, and the Founding Director of METHOD & CONCEPT. Jensen is a true advocate for the arts, his work and the gallery’s programming both demonstrate the symbiotic relationship between contemporary craft, fine art and design.

In 2013, Jensen launched METHOD & CONCEPT as a division of Thomas Riley Companies, to represent international emerging, mid-career and established artists and designers. Jensen has exhibited numerous artists including Matthew Shlian, Peter Zimmermann, Tadao Cern, Kim Keever and Arik Levy.

In addition to his work at METHOD & CONCEPT, Jensen is an active leader in Naples’ cultural landscape, placing monumental public art at The Collective and Sugden-Gomez building at Baker Park. He is the Founding Director and serves on the Executive Board of the Naples Design District and the United Arts Council of Collier County, where he served as president for two terms. Jensen also serves on the Advisory Board of Digital Media Design at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he is a frequent guest speaker, gallery juror and student mentor.

As an artist, he has exhibited at The Baker Museum in Naples, FL; Rudolf Budja Gallery, Miami; as well as Guinevere, London. He has participated in international art fairs such as the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York, NY and the Shanghai Art Fair, China. In 2014, Jensen designed a limited-edition furniture collection that was presented during New York Design Week. Interior Design, Art Basel Guide and Casa da Abitare have featured his work.