Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Occupation: Furniture maker.
Hometown: Oneida, NY
Studio location: Red Hook, Brooklyn, and soon Portland, OR.
Describe what you make: I make thoughtful objects, ideas and spaces that allow humans to interface with the built environment in a meaningful and beautiful way.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: During college, I took a studio that tasked us to design and produce a chair from welded steel over the course of the semester. It was my first experience both conceptualizing and materializing an artifact built around the human form. Now, the chair mostly collects clothes at the foot of my bed, but also serves as a reminder that I have to keep making things.
Describe the problem your work solves: I hope to craft high-quality objects made with purpose and intention in an attempt to combat rampant consumerism and planned obsolescence.
Describe the project you are working on now: I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some friends on forming an architecture collective called citygroup. Recognizing that architecture is often beholden to conservative authorities, our aim is to interrogate the conditions that subjugate, alienate, and appropriate architects, architecture and architectural inhabitants. We’re advocating for less hierarchical communication and a more discursive model of knowledge in the field in hopes of providing a life of dignity for everyone in the city. We have been working on projects and exhibitions ranging from typological studies of urban housing for singles to more politically active work opposing unbridled, profit-driven development in Chinatown.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: I’m currently releasing the first line of furniture through my design studio, Campagna. It explores behaviors of life in the home and formally draws from the geometry of typographic glyphs. It can be seen at the upcoming AD Design Show in New York, March 21–24.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Ear protection, coffee, natural light, and community.
What you do when you’re not working: If I’m in the city or traveling, I’m usually searching for delicious food with my partner, Geo. Otherwise, I love the regenerating quality of time spent in nature.
Sources of creative envy: The monumental focus on the intersection of geometry, light, and space of Louis Kahn and the temples at Angkor. The essentialist and harsh austerity of Judd and the Shakers. The comfort, hospitality, and ritual of tea master Sen no Rikyū. The warmth, materiality and spiritual presence at Ryōan-ji. The centering, meditative pursuits of James Turrell and Brian Eno. The self reflective and somber paintings of Mark Rothko’s Seagram Murals. The complete unity of the arts at the Bauhaus. The redefinition of rules by John Coltrane and the Grateful Dead. The pursuits of all my shop mates in Red Hook.
The distraction you want to eliminate: The swirling thoughts in my head.
Concrete or marble? Marble. It’s so smooth!
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse in the city, chalet in mountains.
Remember or forget? Remember. Through reflection comes peace, compassion and understanding.
Aliens or ghosts? This is a tough one. My childhood home was next to a cemetery and I was convinced I saw a ghost when I was a kid. I also grew up in an environment where there was active discussion of the strong relationship between ancient architectural wonders and extraterrestrials.
Dark or light? Light. It carves space. Also, aliens and ghosts tend to exist in the dark.