After graduating from The University of Cincinnati with a degree in classics, Brad Musuraca noticed his friends in the architecture school working on their final furniture-building projects, and thought that it looked like a lot of fun. He carved out a spot in his family’s factory to start experimenting during his free time outside of working there, working with wood and metal and creating prototypes. This led to him starting his own furniture company, Tronk Design. Here’s more about how he got his start, his design process and advice for budding designers. Thanks to Brad for answering our questions today.
What was the first piece of furniture you ever built?
Today we’re going to take a trip to India, and you don’t need to fight over all of your vintage Louis Vuitton luggage with your siblings ala The Darjeerling Limited beforehand. Designer Thomas Paul is taking us through the steps of how his dynamic prints come to life through the ancient art of silkscreening. I have many Thomas Paul items around my house, including a version of this amazing octopus shower curtain, and as I type, my elbow is resting upon a Thomas Paul Zebra pillow. After seeing exactly what goes into creating his pieces, I am even more of a fan. I hope you enjoy this virtual field trip, and thanks to Thomas for taking us on it!
The final product: The Octopus Vineyard Shower Curtain. This shower curtain requires a four color process.
1) The design is printed on vellum.
2) The screens are shot, one screen per color, and then washed to reveal the design.
3) The screens are dried.
4) Swatches are chosen.
6) The fabric is laid out smooth for printing.
7) The screens are inked.
The screens are cleaned.
9) Ink is pulled through the design onto the fabric
10) The process is repeated along the length of the fabric, one screen per color.
Thanks so much to Thomas Paul for providing us with the art and process. If you’d like to see more of his designs, browse all Thomas Paul here.
Recently, writer Carla Turk had a chance to pick turnstone designer Jenny Gauld’s brain about how the process of designing a harmonious functional office works. Take it away Carla and Jenny!
So how does this process begin? In any design project, it all starts with a good set of questions. It is about finding solutions to your needs, discussing how you want to use your space, the type of storage requirements and how to use color and materials to support your brand. The budget, move-in schedule and any other pertinent details are addressed at this point. This is about you and how you want your space to be.
It also starts with your vision. There are online tools you can use to create an overall scheme or get a better idea of what you like, such as Pinterest or turnstone’s past work. I’ve known designers take their clients to check out spaces that might be in line with what they are looking for. Co-working spaces are also good places to visit since they have the same amenities as an office: open and private spaces, break room and copy/print areas.
What are the office trends you’ve seen/designed in projects that you’ve completed recently? Startups tend to create a workplace that speaks so vividly about their culture, foster a tight community and exude fun. An office is traditionally where we collaborate, meet with clients and facilitate our day to day business. With planning furniture, we can help foster activities that will encourage interactions like dotting the space with comfortable soft seating to capture a sense of your home’s living room or a communal table to get everyone to each lunch together. It is about culture and how to stay true to it everyday.
Supporting different postures is becoming important in the office. Almost everyone works from their laptop and being mobile is a common activity in the office. Allowing different seat heights, ranging from standard seat to stool and bar height chairs, allows you to move around and support posture.
We are pretty content with my existing reclaimed furniture. Does design really matter?Of course it does! Your office is where you create, collaborate and reach project milestones. But it’s not only about having a space conducive to productivity, it is creating an inspiring and comfortable space to share with peers who you spend most of your time with. Just take a look at Fracture. A company which started with randomly placed “reclaimed” furniture, but has taken the big step by creating a well-organized and branded space. It brought a sense of ownership and a positive future.
Letting go of the reclaimed furniture is a big step. But if you are serious about your company and its future, I believe it is time to outgrow the hand-me-downs and invest in the tools to help your business grow.