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Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Designer Interview: Patrick Chirico from Build Your Block

Ali

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Want to know who’s cool? Patrick Chirico, the designer behind Build Your Block. For one, he has a dapper looking dog and you’ve gotta check out his DIY home garden for urban spaces. Oh, and he makes sweet pillow scenes too…that we already knew. Enjoy the Q&A!

What about Brooklyn do you absolutely love?

All types of food morning, afternoon and night; the architecture and bridges; the people and fashion; the smorgasbord of style, history, and culture.

Have you lived anywhere else?

I’m from Northern, NY.  Watertown to be more specific which is polar opposite of the responses above, but I still love it.



Describe your typical work day.

Well I run two companies full time and most of my day is taken up with WrecordsByMonkey, which is a interior and jewelry company that makes everything from vinyl records. I send emails and work on projects and new designs.  Then my afternoons, nights and days off are spent slaving over emails and orders for Build Your Block and trying to glue everything together.

Please share five things/people/places that inspire you.

My environment, My fiancee, godmother, family, and friends. The 5 boroughs of Read the rest of this entry »

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Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Designer Interview: Mary and Topher from makelike

Ali

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I’m really excited to share a bit of insight behind the creative minds involved with makelike. If I had to pick a new set of friends the Portland, Oregon based designers, Mary and Topher, would be at the top of my list. Why? Well, who wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who collects Boy Scout camp coffee mugs, framed photos of St. Mary’s Lake in Glacier National Park, vintage Brock dinnerware and photos of other people’s pets? Not to mention they are majorly skilled artists and seem like really fun, interesting, witty people. Enjoy!


photo courtesy of Adrian Gaut

Great brand name…what does it mean and where did it come from?

Thanks! We were inspired by the mysteriously undocumented folklore behind “makelike” phrases (makelike a tree and leave, etc.), so we chose it as our name (thanks to our friend Bob) and hosted a dinner party where our friends helped us write our own makelike phrases. We’ve also found that due to our “West Coast dialects” we end up saying it inadvertently in sentences when concepting ideas (e.g. “We could make, like, a really awesome tea towel.”)

Tell us about the process of starting makelike and how you got where you are today.

We got our official start in 2000…although we (Mary and Topher) had been working together at a Portland design firm called Johnson & Wolverton for several years prior. Our first job as makelike was a 200+ page spec magazine called MILK with CD Richard Christiansen (now Chandelier Creative, NYC), with whom we have collaborated with for the past ten years on various editorial (and other) jobs – including Suede and Radar (second iteration) magazines. We’ve always tried to incorporate pattern within all of our projects and our first intern (and now #3 man) Rob Halverson brought the hand-drawn stuff with him in 2000 from MCAD. Using self generated art successfully for our client’s projects for so many years, we finally decided to do it for ourselves in 2009 with our product line. We all love cacti, so we started with that as our first collection’s theme.

How would you describe your design style/philosophy? How has it evolved over the years?

We believe in making things that people want to keep – or better yet, cherish. What is the point of spending the time and resources to make something and then have it discarded or recycled? We try and make things with personality or soul – things you want to collect. For the product line, we’ve made things that we want to see in our own homes! A portion of our our time “designing” has evolved from something we do only for clients, to something we also do for ourselves. That’s made it a lot more fun. Aesthetically, when you take a step back and look at our client work over the years, you’ll probably notice that our style is diverse, flexible and capable of shape-shifting, but overall, we’ve stayed true to a consistent approach that ties everything together as a cohesive body of work – regardless of it’s complexity or simplicity.


You guys sound like you can do just about anything, photography, printmaking, sewing, installation…any favorite mediums? Any type of art you’ve been itching to try?

Well yeah, I guess we can….We all went to art school and we all studied some design in school – but none of us majored in it. That gives us a wide variety of skill-sets and the ability to do anything. Plus we live in the middle of a creative hotbed (Portland, Oregon), where it’s possible (and really easy) to remain curious, share and learn new things from the gifted people that surround you – every day!  Go spirit of collaboration!

Your dream project?

This.

Please share five things/people/places that inspire you.

M: Walking around my neighborhood, walks in the forest, camping, the Read the rest of this entry »

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Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Designer Interview: Heather Lins Home

Ali

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You’ve got to admit you are slightly intrigued by the Heather Lins Home 3-D Eye Chart pillow. Or maybe you are thinking, is that really the form of human anatomy sewn on to a pillow in the Science Project Collection? Yes it is. Now meet the mastermind behind these highly creative and rather quirky Heather Lins Home pieces, Heather Lins. Enjoy!


Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get started in the design industry and how you got to where you are today.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an interior designer. In college, I got interested in graphic design because I had always enjoyed art and writing and it seemed like an area where I could blend the two. However, I kept having ideas for designs that were outside the traditional client/designer relationship. (3-D Eye Chart Pillow anyone?) In 2008, I entered a competition for up and coming designers held by the New York International Gift Fair, the A+: Young Designers Platform. To my surprise, I won one of three exhibit spaces and debuted my home textile collection at the nation’s largest gift fair.

Did you have good or bad experiences at the doctor (i.e. what provoked the eye chart and anatomy pillows)?

No. My husband accuses me of being a hypochondriac so maybe I’m working out some issues.

How would you describe your design style?

A writer once called my work “very literate.” I like that. I often start brainstorming by free associating words and then sketching. I strive to make my designs modern, accessible, witty and beautiful.

Love your sketches for your Numbered Edition (among your many other drawings!). Where do you do most of your doodling?

Just about anywhere and everywhere.

We have to talk about the Science Project Collection. Brings me back to elementary school when I was almost a finalist with my science fair project (think cotton swabs of dog saliva and testing antibacterial creams…aka thanks for doing my project, Dad!). What inspired you to dive into such a theme?

I have always found science diagrams very interesting and beautiful. I find I am more able to see their beauty if I take them out of their usual context (science class) and put them someplace unexpected — like on pillows! I love designs that are beautiful and quirky.

I saw your pillows on the cover of the most recent ReadyMade Magazine. How exciting! Do you have Read the rest of this entry »

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Saturday, December 20th, 2008

DP in the News: 7×7 Magazine

Nicole

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Thomas Paul pillows, 7x7 magazine

Design Public in the press!

A great feature in the Dec/Jan ’09 issue of 7×7 Magazine on multifaceted design. Added to the mix: Thomas Paul’s Mosaic pillow. Thanks, 7×7!

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Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

DP in the News: Apartment Therapy Giveaway!

Nicole

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Apartment Therapy GiveawayIt is giveaway season, no doubt, and thanks to Apartment Therapy and a number of our designers we have a few pieces to share. Today’s Design Public giveaway on Apartment Therapy involves Hybrid-Home and Paper Cloud pillows. Submit your three favorite pillows from the list to enter to win.

Thanks AT, Hybrid-Home and Paper Cloud!

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