I was utterly charmed by this chair from the moment I laid eyes on it. It somehow manages to incorporate several opposing qualities at the same time—it’s architectural and precise yet also playful and almost childlike. I also love how she has continued that theme with the material choice, so while the lines are clean and modern, the color and surface texture of the fiberglass have a lovely timeworn appearance. The confidence she had in the tension between all these elements make the chair so compelling.
The Wes Anderson Effect
While Anderson and his hyper-realized worlds have been around for decades, they became fully manifested with the debut of The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). Of course, life imitated art with the opening of the Anderson-designed Bar Luce at Milan’s Fondazione Prada in 2015. I’ve always viewed life in a cinematic fashion, so to see this trend make its way from the art house to become a cultural design phenomenon was a true joy. Over the past five years, it has continued to inspire travel, hospitality, fashion, interiors, and more.
For me, the 2010s have been the decade of design appropriation in the mainstream. The concept of sampling and remixing has permeated all aspects of art and design. The OP-1 represents a very pure form of appropriation: sampling found rhythms and sounds to create new music. This is where the concept initially resonated with me as a teenager in the 90s. The beauty of the OP-1, other than its artistic expression of functional minimalism, is its portability and accessibility. It’s a tool for creation that you can carry everywhere.
Built above a mid-1900s warehouse, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg weaves various levels of complexity into one cohesive whole—urban, typological, building, programmatic, and interior. In doing so, it gave the historic building a future worthy of civic significance.
This decade, I’ve been excited by the work of Sabine Marcelis. These tables are a current favorite. We’ve sourced her work for almost every single project in the past few years! I love the way she pushes materials, incorporates light and mirror/reflection, and blurs the lines between art and furniture. It’s in my nature to love chasing down new ideas and experiences through my work, but it seems I’ll always have a place for her pieces.
I’ve always described my sensibility as half romantic and half Brutalist. I felt that exact juxtaposition the moment I saw the new Parrish Art Museum in the early 2010s. It’s an enormous barn with poured concrete walls that catch the last of the summer day’s sunset. While it’s tough and modern, there’s still something so classically American about it.
This is one of my favorites. Of course, Giorgetto Giugiaro designed this style of car before I was even born. It proves how unusual designs confuse people. The Cybertruck went viral instantly and will change the automobile industry forever. People don’t understand it at first because it evokes a new emotion. It’s why I chose to become a designer—to give people a new feeling when they see my work and live in my spaces.
Ellen Van Dusen
Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin chapel
I’ve been there twice since it opened in 2018, and it’s a really special and unique place. He designed it in 1986 for another project that never came to fruition, and the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin caught wind of it and raised money to build it on site in 2015. He made every aesthetic choice for the project, but died two months after construction began so never got to see it come together. It’s an homage to color and light, and a totally non-religious religious experience being inside.
This is truly a space activator! Part sculpture, completely utilitarian and yet surprisingly innovative, it’s the best example of collectible, contemporary design I can think of. Every interesting designer and collector I know expressed some awe about it when Brian first showed it, and it holds up. I believe it will remain a collectible work for decades!
The High Line showed that the design and re-use of old crumbling urban features can change the experience of a city. By bringing culture, art, and a way to escape the busy streets of New York, its design and landscaping is now a reference for cities all around the world on how to create popular design all can enjoy.
I love its simplicity—one simple extrusion shape and the abnormality that happens in the manufacturing process when you extrude such a large and long piece, which creates beautiful movement. It’s a perfect marriage of technology and craft, science and chance.