About Mason

MASON Design and Development is a New York-based interior design studio that specializes in high end residential, boutique hotels, restaurants and retail spaces. The studio leaders bring an acclaimed and diverse design experience from the likes of Ralph Lauren, Robert A.M. Stern, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Gensler and Thierry W Despont.

MASON is dedicated to transforming interior spaces with thoughtful design, quality craftsmanship, high functionality and innovative use of materials and textures that celebrate the history of the project environment tailored to the client’s lifestyle.

Our design approach starts with a deep understanding of our clients needs and a commitment to client service by being entrenched in every aspect of the project from concept planning, design development, purchasing services to accessorization and styling.

Manrique Cartin, Principal

Born and raised in tropical and environmentally-conscious Costa Rica, design and construction was ingrained in Manrique’s upbringing. His mother, who studied interior design in Sevilla, Spain and his grandfather, a developer in Costa Rica and Florida, influenced Manrique’s early interest in construction and design. Manrique enrolled in the architectural engineering program at The University of Kansas. While in school, he worked as an architectural drafter and quickly landed as an engineer at one of Southern California’s top engineering firms.

Eager to be involved in the overall design and build process, Manrique moved to New York City to work at Plant Construction, one of New York’s top design/build firms. He worked on projects for world-renowned architects and designers such as Deborah Burke, Fox Nahem, and Shelton Mindel & Associates.

As Manrique settled in the concrete jungle of New York, he met fellow art and design leaders such as photographer Richard Phibbs, whose work can be seen in Vogue, Town & Country, and across many Ralph Lauren stores. It was Richard who introduced Manrique to the senior leaders at Ralph Lauren, which led to Manrique joining the iconic brand, renowned for its award-winning design, and for cultivating the design skills of many top interior designers.  Manrique worked as the Creative Designer for Home Collections and managed the design of new store openings across Asia, Europe and the US for over 15 Ralph Lauren brands.

Presented with the opportunity to work on a project of historical importance, Manrique then joined Robert A.M. Stern to spearhead the design for the $800M+ Yale New Residential Colleges project. At the time, Robert A.M. Stern was the Dean of the Architecture School at the institution.

With over a decade of revered design experience, Manrique pursued his entrepreneurial passion and MASON Design and Development was born. During its first year, MASON landed and worked on incredible projects for notable hospitality brands such as Kimpton Hotels, Loews Hotels, Exhales Spas as well as multiple high end residential projects in NYC and The Hamptons.

Michael Johnson, Principal, Associate AIA, NCARB

An accomplished New York architect and interior designer, Michael has worked for the world’s most celebrated design firms and brings a wealth of luxury design experience managing the design of high end hospitality and residential projects across the US and globally.

Most recently, Michael worked at Gensler as the design manager for its Hospitality Studio and managed the design of several large-scale hotel developments, including the new construction of Disney’s The Cove in Orlando, the renovation of the Hyatt Regency and Verizon-owned Ridge Hotel in New Jersey.

Previously, Michael served as senior designer at Martin Brudnizki Design Studio where he led and managed the design on multiple hospitality, casino and restaurant projects nationwide for MGM International Resorts, The Four Seasons, The Pendry, Sydell Group, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group and Hogsalt. 

At Robert A.M. Stern Interiors, Michael served as a senior interior designer for high profile international and US projects. His work included the design of show houses in a luxury residential development in Hong Kong that set a new record as the world’s most expensive property sold, as well as the design of One Bennett Park, a 67-story residential tower in Chicago. 

Earlier in his career, Michael worked for the Rockwell Group of New York City on a design concept for the development of Pier 57 on the Hudson River; The Office of Thierry Despont on the renovation of the Ritz Paris; and Hawkins, Hall & Ogle Architects of Daytona Beach, Florida.

Michael received his Bachelor of Architecture degree with a minor in Art from the University of Miami. His work has been published in Architectural Digest, Vogue, Fortune, Luxury Home Quarterly, New York Post and the South China Morning Post.