Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Age: 29 (Vince). 25 (Mischa).
Occupation: Furniture designers.
Hometown: Berkeley, CA (Vince). Chattanooga, TN (Mischa).
Studio location: Brooklyn.
Describe what you make: We make furniture and sculpture evoking monolithic forms, incorporating angular construction and intricate relief patterns. Usually rendered in dark wood, metal, leather, and mirror.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: Our bed.
Describe the problem your work solves: Our work is motivated by a belief that it’s nearly impossible for decorative art and design to solve pressing material problems. It’s insincere to try to find a materialist motivation for meticulously hand-making a single chair and releasing it into a market glutting itself on overproduction and exploitation. In that setting the work is by its nature fantastic, and the work embraces the fantastic as a meaningful avenue of expression perpendicular to the market. As queer and trans people the construction of a fantasy world is an effective exit from many of the problems of our material reality that we are unable to solve.
Describe the project you are working on now: We recently finished our first collection of furniture. At the moment we’re working on a few larger architectural interior projects with our friends at BoND Architecture. The first up is a room-within-a-room, an enclosed wooden bed and closet built nested inside the bedroom. We’re incorporating a new technique where we redirect wood grain inside a panel to create a subtle marquetry, giving the interior walls optical depth. More broadly, it’s been a good experience to be able to work at a new scale and with a new set of concerns and constraints. The privilege of filling space as a furniture maker is very different from creating or segmenting spaces.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: We’re showing our first collection of furniture at David Lewis Gallery on West 12th Street in Manhattan starting April 7. There are 12 pieces, drawing references mostly from Mayan construction and Brutalist relief work, but also incorporating ideas from fantasy novel illustration, tramp art, and Timurid Frieze. We’re also working on a new queer bar our wider friend group is opening in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. It’s called Singer’s, and it opens in early May.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: A ten-foot freight elevator, 700 square feet, and a sliding table saw (Vince). Headphones, Diet Coke, and Tiger Balm (Mischa).
What you do when you’re not working: Cooking, cycling, vibing with our friends, going to the rave, and seeing weeknight movies at the Delancey Regal.
Sources of creative envy: Frank Frazetta, Ursula K. Le Guin, Heinrich Böll, Carlo Scarpa, the legions of uncredited American Tramp artists, The Talking Heads.
The distraction you want to eliminate: The obligation to make money from this work (Mischa). Mischa (Vince).
Concrete or marble? Concrete.
High-rise or townhouse? A castle offers the appeals of both.
Remember or forget? I think the work is about forgetting.
Aliens or ghosts? Ghosts (Mischa). A rugged alien like a sand worm (Vince).
Dark or light? Light (Mischa). Dark (Vince).