Material Lust on Sight Unseen.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Although I'd met Material Lust designers Christian Swafford and Lauren Larson before, it wasn't until I visited their studio on assignment for Sight Unseen that I learned the story behind their brand, which produces furniture and home goods with decidedly dark flair. It was lovely to spend a fall morning in their space—to see their latest work, pore over their beautiful (and non-digital!) inspiration boards, and learn more about what inspires their cutting-edge aesthetic.

As it turns out, that aesthetic is one that's routinely confused for demonic. Says Christian: “We posted a photo on Instagram recently of a pentagram and a few of our chairs, and someone commented, ‘Unfollow these Satanists.’ Our design was based off of DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man. It was historical, but it had nothing to do with devil worship. Everyone feels the need to categorize.”

Find the full interview on Sight Unseen. Photos by Emily Johnston.

More from my Sight Unseen archive: Group Partner / Todd St. John / Ladies & Gentlmen Studio. Thanks so much for reading.

Recommended Reading / 60.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Every Monday, words to start the week.  

This week, from Studiocanoe: a short film called "Sum" that offers up an enormous dose of perspective in just four minutes. According to the film, we may spend 30 years of our life asleep, 200 days showering, six weeks waiting for green lights, and 18 days gazing into refrigerators—but spread over decades, these moments are just tiny, magnificent pieces of a much bigger picture. See it all, above.

Thanks to Freunde von Freunden for the link. More from Studiocanoe, here.

Three more, just because: 
-"Speed Dating for Rabbits."
-Louise Ma makes art of hard-to-describe emotions.
-Preschool pastimes: "We're playing sunset. We just travel around, like how the sun sets."

More recommended reads, here. Wishing you a happy Monday.

Recommended Reading / 59.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Every Monday, words to start the week.  

This week, via Apiece Apart: an interview with photographer Emily Johnston (whose beautiful work and words appear on this site often—including in my latest POV).  The Q+A is part of the fashion label's excellent ongoing series, Apiece Apart Woman, and though I loved all of this particular post, what stuck out to me most was Emily's response to a question about mantras:

"I don’t know that I have one, but lately I’ve been turning back to the words by Wendell Berry that my partner David left in my studio on one particularly challenging day this summer, 'The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.'"

I'm dazzled. Read the interview on Apiece Apart. Photos by Brian W. Ferry.

Three more, just because: 
-Conceptual time machines.
-Fellow Resident, a collection of interviews that gives readers a glimpse into "the homes and heads" of inspiring gay men around the world.
-"Normality is a paved road: It's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow."

More recommended reads, here. Wishing you a wonderful Monday.


Found via Swissmiss: the Melancholia clock, a numberless, colorless timepiece born of a very deliberate and thoughtful design. Writes creator Vadim Kibardin:

Like the film Melancholia, my clock...consists of two parts. The minute hand is called ‘Justine’, and she deals with her melancholic sister—the hour hand ‘Claire.’ And just as Lars von Trier’s planet, Melancholia, devours the Earth, my minute hand will devour the hour hand twice a day. Twice a day the minute and hour hands are at the top together. But slowly, melancholia descends between them like a curtain she has set in motion. It looks like the "sisters" truly suffer from doubts. Twice a day you see them meet and talk about their experiences of being alone. They have different tempos. But they have been two, and, for a brief moment they become one.

Read more, here.

POV: Roads.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV focuses on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.

I walked to the grocery store last Saturday afternoon, in the middle of the blizzard.

Faced with the reality that my fridge contained little more than carrots, butter, and a foil-wrapped chocolate turkey from Thanksgiving, I left to search for the makings of soup, bemoaning every step of the way my failure to have done so a day earlier. Though most everything was closed, shuttered behind the steel curtains of roll-down gates, there were people out, traipsing through the flying snow in happy, shrieking clusters. There was no traffic—an afternoon travel ban had ordered all non-emergency vehicles off the roads—and everyone walked in the middle of the street, free of worry.

On the way back, everything was gray. Snow fell fast. It was entrancing and apocalyptic, everyone wandering, windblown. I wondered what else was going on one or two or three streets over, and for a moment, it seemed like the whirling gusts might take me. Instead, I reached my front door without incident. Over my shoulder, people seemed to appear from the clouds, slipping, sliding, leaping from cliffs of powder. Above was the faint glow of warmly lit windows.

Beyond that, there was nothing. It was impossible to see.

Recommended Reading / 58.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Every Monday, words to start the week.  

This week: an interesting take on social media from Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman.

"The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age...But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face."

Read more from Ricardo de Querol's interview, here. Photograph by Grzegorz Lepiarz.

Three more, just because: 
-You had me at "cotton soft."
-A sommelier samples bottled water.
-From poet Eileen Myles (whom I've quoted before on this site): "That horrible line of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, 'There are no second acts in American lives,' was the notion of somebody who died of alcoholism quite young. Yes, there are second acts, and there are third acts. I live in New York, where there are fifth acts and sixth acts, even."

More recommended reads, here. Wishing you a very happy Monday. (Also: I was derailed by the excitement of snow, but the POV mentioned last week is still to come!)

Brutalist Beauty on FVF.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Sculptor Pedro Reyes and clothing designer Carla Fern├índez make their home in a beautiful Brutalist structure in Mexico City, surrounding themselves with color, plant life, and an ever-growing collection of books. I was lucky enough to interview the couple for Freunde von Freunden last month, for a feature that went live this week. My favorite moment in our conversation? Pedro's comparison of the home to both a factory and a playground—and his description of the contents of his library.

"Our collection is very diverse," he says. "Just last week, I came back from Japan with two suitcases full of books, including an atlas of sand and a book about caterpillars. It all seems random—but it's not."

Read more on Freunde von Freunden. Photos by Ana Hop.

More work on FvF: Linda Derschang / Chelsea Miller / Mick Johan.


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