Partnership is imperative for Swiss designer Patrick Reymond, who runs the design studio Atelier Oï with longtime collaborators Aurel Aebi and Armand Louis. Working out of a repurposed motel— the cleverly dubbed “Moïtel”—in La Neuveville, Switzerland, that is part studio, exhibition space, and materials lab, the talented team has created pieces for brands from Ikea to Foscarini, and sets scenographic installations for expositions around the world.
Although photographer Emiliano Granado only took to the camera five years ago, he quickly mastered the arts of spatial and social portraiture. After taking courses at New York’s International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts, Granado has gone on to produce a fascinating portfolio full of drag races, beauty contests, high school football games, travel shots of Nicaragua and Argentina, and surreally empty parking garages lit from within at night. His commercial work is equally impressive.
Owner and creative director Ebony Snow Chafey cofounded the Chicago-based design and stationery firm Snow & Graham in the spring of 1998. One successful decade later, her firm does more than $2 million worth of business each year, producing cards, calendars, stationery, notebooks, and even wallpaper. One of Chafey’s stated goals is “to put good design in everybody’s hands,” and that includes producing “big, bold, modern” holiday cards you could even send to Grandma. Amazingly, Chafey was once a welder, studying sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago—but this somewhat brutal background is impossible to detect in the simple and often mesmerizing lines of Snow & Graham’s design. Chafey invited Dwell into her busy Chicago workspace for the following Q&A.
BSB Design was established in 1966 in Des Moines, Iowa, as a small architectural firm with a grand mission statement: Every family deserves to live in an architect-designed home. Forty-plus years later, BSB employs over 200 people and has amassed an award-winning portfolio of homes. So what would make a U.S. firm verging on mega status suddenly decide to focus its pro bono attention on solving a housing problem thousands of miles away? According to architect and chairman of the board Doug Sharp, all someone had to do was ask.
It might seem that the Post Carbon Institute casts too wide a net. But after translating German at the Vatican and becoming a Hollywood filmmaker, Julian Darley, the institute’s director, is accustomed both to setting and to reaching lofty goals. Yet the mission of the Post Carbon Institute is rather simple, Darley explains: They want “to get society off of fossil fuels fast.”
If you’ve never heard of “fly-tipping,” then you’ve certainly seen its results. Fly-tipping is the British term for dumping garbage illegally, and it’s the civic challenge that motivated Londoner Deborah Leach to start a research project with the Tidy Britain Group (now ENCAMS) to investigate what it takes to engage citizens in cleaning up trash-laden waterways. “The litter along the Thames shores and flowing beneath its bridges was upsetting thousands of Londoners,” Leach recounts. Beyond their desire for cleaner rivers and canals, she found people eager and willing to help.
Sustainable design isn’t merely a catchphrase for Mexico City–based industrial designer Emiliano Godoy. The density and environmental tensions of the megalopolis he calls home have both challenged and inspired him to pursue responsible design decisions with his firm, Godoylab, and eco-friendly production practices with Pirwi, the furniture company he launched with Alejandro Castro in 2007.
"In 2003, Denise Korn marched into the Boston public school system with one goal in mind: to demystify the process of design. She had already learned, as copresident of the Creative Economy Council in New England, that changing the curriculum would not be easy. Instead of coming at it from the inside out, she would do it from the outside in: "I asked them to give me their brightest, most hungry students, and I'd pair them with the most amazing designers in Boston," she explains. With that, Youth Design Boston, a seven-week summer internship program, was born.