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Wednesday
May122010

artist profile: matthew lew

Where was your favorite place to live?
This is tough…I love Chicago, but I also love San Sebastian, Spain and Kauai, Hawaii. If I could do all three throughout the year, that would be great!

What’s your favorite room at home?
I just bought a new condo, so I’m not quite sure yet. I have my design plans all together and I think the powder room is gonna be pretty amazing because it’s small and you can just do some out-of-the-box design styles with it to really make a statement.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Travel. Something that makes me laugh. Color combinations. Chicago architecture. Music.

What do you drive?
I ride the CTA buses and trains, or I use an i-Go car.

What are your interests outside of design?
Too many to name so I’ll just name a few: I love PB and J sandwiches, speaking Spanish, reciting the lines from my favorite movies: Goonies, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and Tootsie. Mimosa brunches—also known as Sunday Funday!

Who are your design icons?
LOVE Jonathan Adler (whimsical, fun and bold…he can do no wrong in my book), Antonio Gaudi (brilliant architect and designer, I love his unique and highly individualistic designs as well as his mosaics), Gio Ponti (amazing furniture with fine lines as well as funky unique pieces).

Form vs. function?
Both. Success is a balance of form and function together where both help deliver the idea and create the ultimate consumer experience.

Your decorating style is ____?
Masculine Bohemian meets Vintage Modern meets Happy Graphic

What’s your favorite element/possession?
My 1912 Vintage Bank Safe that I turned into a secret bar!

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Sour Gummy Worms or Sour Patch Kids—but I only eat the red and orange ones.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Make a mosaic statement on an accent wall using 8.5x11” black and white photo copies of a repeated image. It can be done without damaging your wall, and for under $25 depending on your wall size.

Friday
Apr302010

designer profile: nic shannon of vaugh|shannon

Where was your favorite place to live?
I will bend the definition of live and say Portugal for holidays. It was good to get away from gray skies and rain which our little island is sometimes known for. 

What’s your favorite room in your home?
The living room for me is the most exciting room in the house. Probably because it’s where I have all the fun things. Otherwise it would be the outdoors. 

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
That’s a really hard question. Sewage Systems…for human health reasons. Although I am really impressed by the new pram we bought!!

What are your sources of inspiration?
Life and knowledge…

What do you drive?
I’m pretty good to the environment at the moment so I drive nothing.

What one item do you wish you owned?
A castle. Definitely a castle. Maybe vaugh|shannon will have offices in one in the future? 

What are your interests outside of design?
Music. Most spare time I have I’ll listen to music. I’m a drummer too…and I love history. Most of this may be swept aside as I have a baby due in eight days. 

Who are your design icons?
I don’t have specific icons. I love a mixture though between various design fields. Amalgamations across various fields can and has generated great design. 

Form vs. function?
Function should take the lead. Form is the amazing bonus. Both are great.

What is your signature ____?
Functional products with humour.

Your personal decorating style is _____?
Modern, clean, crisp. 

What’s your favorite element/possession?
Materialistically it would be my music system and instruments.

 

Wednesday
Apr282010

designer profile: trevor vaugh of vaugh|shannon

Where was your favourite place to live?
I love living here in Dublin. It’s such a lively and interesting city, never failing to be a source of inspiration, and a great place to keep me grounded. As much as I love Dublin, every time I visit New York I feel at home and would love to try living there for a while.

What’s your favourite room at home?
Definitely the kitchen. I love to cook and I love kitchen gadgets. I find cooking to be a very similar process to design—probably the reason I like it so much. The careful pulling together of good ingredients, mixing in the correct quantities and presenting a finished product are all very similar to the design of a product.

In your opinion, what’s the best designed item of all time?
Wow that’s a difficult one. I could be predictable and say the paperclip or the staple—which are indeed incredibly simple and brilliant ideas—but I’ll go for the wood screw and screwdriver. The perfect balance of form, function and system.

What do you drive?
I don’t. I’m either on my bike or the subway. I always swore I wouldn’t drive until I could afford, or was in a position to get the beautiful Citroen DS. This won’t happen until I move from my apartment into a house but it’ll be worth the wait!

What one item do you wish you owned?
Well that would have to be the elusive Citroen DS!

Who are you design icons?
I have so many, but those that have really inspired me are Achille Castiglioni, Eero Saarinen, the Bouroullec brothers and Konstantin Grcic.

Form vs. function?
I never really thought much of that question. I always believed it was too simplistic a question. To me form is a function. Form is just a function of selling, instructing and appealing. It is vital to have the two in balance.

What is your signature __?
Function and surprise!

Your personal decorating style?
Cluttered minimalism.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
I am a bit of a collector, and I love all sorts of quirky toys, objects and oddities. Of these I think my favourite would have to be a tiny ceramic doll which looks like my fiancée Mary. It’s Japanese and it’s great to have with me when she’s away or when I’m traveling. I’m not a romantic it’s just comforting and nice to have around.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
It is important to surround yourself with people, objects and memories that you love, make you feel comfortable and reflect who you are. Minimalism is great, but it’s important to have personality in there too. I love the mix of antique and contemporary pieces.

What’s the best career advice you ever received or gave?
I was always told in school to “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it”. Now that I work for myself my advice would be to work hard, surround yourself with inspiring people, and never sit on good ideas.

Tuesday
Apr062010

artist profile: brian everett

Where was your favorite place to live?
So far it’s been living in Kansas City. It has a small town feel, with all the offerings that larger urban areas have. Fantastic restaurants, and the art & music scene is very impressive.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Without a doubt it’s music. I can’t go a single day without listening to something. I’ve been playing the guitar for about 10 years, and used to play in a small band in college. Music is such a huge influence on my life, and sometimes I wonder if I should have chosen a career in the music industry.

Who are your design icons?
Definitely the Eames and Raymond Loewy as early examples. One of my favorite current designers would have to be Tom Dixon.

Form vs. function?
Function—which isn’t to say you can’t have both. I don’t think it is necessarily one or the other but for me, form follows function. You could design the coolest looking chopsticks on the planet, but if they can’t pick up sushi, what’s the point?

What’s your favorite element/possession?
A Saarinen side chair—that I found!

What one item do you wish you owned?
Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. Does that count as an item?

What are your sources of inspiration?
Anything in my day to day life can trigger inspiration for me, but one of my main sources would have to be nature. I am forever obsessed with trees.

Thursday
Mar252010

designer profile: mark daniel of slate design

What are your sources of inspiration?
Travel, music, architecture, caffeine.

Who are your design icons?
Le Corbusier, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Claesson Koivisto Rune, Hans Wegner.

What are your interests outside of design?
Cars, motorcycles, woodworking, video games.

What do you drive?
An old BMW.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
My 1973 BMW R75/5 motorcycle. I’ve spent the winter restoring it and am counting the days until I can start riding it!

Where was your favorite place to live?
Definitely Paris. I got to spend my senior year of college there. It completely opened up my world view of art, architecture and design.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
I’m a huge reader so it would have to be a library—which is currently in transition from the kids’ playroom. I have plans drawn up for built-in bookcases, a fireplace, and my Eames lounge.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
This isn’t a very original answer but I have to say the iPhone. Not only does it revolutionize how I work, play and communicate, but it comes in a beautifully designed package. Really the ultimate fusion of form and function.

Form vs. function?
Function first, form is a result or an expression of the function. If it doesn’t work, it’s not good design.

Your personal decorating style is ___?
I’m very anti-clutter, so my house and studio spaces reflect the “less is more” school of thought.

What one item do you wish you owned?
I’ve always wanted a Arne Jacobsen Swan chair.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Photographs, lots of photographs. Photos of your family, places you travel, things that inspire you make your space personal and meaningful.

To see all of Mark Daniel’s current designs for CB2, go here.