The Dwell 24: Muhly

For Ann Edgerton and Megan Carney, the most rewarding part of the design process is collaboration.

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When it comes to designers, sometimes two are better than one—especially when they complement each other as well as Ann Edgerton and Megan Carney of furniture studio Muhly.

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Edgerton, an interior designer, and Carney, an industrial designer, were childhood friends and decided to permanently team up after collaborating on some pieces for Edgerton’s home outside Austin, Texas. "Ann’s the dreamer," Carney says. "I can kind of be like, all right, there’s physics and gravity."

The alchemy of their combined vision and technical know-how results in simple, elegantly curved pieces like their sleek, stainless-steel Flecto outdoor firepit, which appears almost magically pieced together, giving up no secrets of its construction. And though their collection is getting bigger, the two have no desire for explosive, start-up-like growth. "Trying to do the opposite of that," Carney says.

For this pair, design is more about the enchantment of working together and giving ideas shape rather than conquering the world through business. "We don’t want to crumble under the pressure and then lose all the creative energy," Edgerton says. "Life is too short."

Read the full Q&A with Ann Edgerton and Megan Carney below.

Hometown: Houston, TX (Carney) Midland, TX (Edgerton)

Describe what you make in 140 characters... Simple and playful furniture and objects designed to withstand trends and time.

What’s the last thing you designed? A dining chair.

Do you have a daily creative ritual? Carney: Walking the neighborhood to look at public landscape design. Edgerton: Watching the sunset.

How do you procrastinate? Carney: Scrolling Wikipedia. Edgerton: Moving objects around my house, rehanging art.

What everyday object would you like to redesign? Why? We want to design a handmade wooden box for your phone, where it can be intentionally put away.

Who are your heroes (in design, in life, in both)? Carney: Kate Berlant, Jacqueline Novak, John Early. Edgerton: Alvar Aalto, Axel Vervoordt, Mary Oliver.

What skill would you most like to learn? Carney: Upholstery. Edgerton: Painting.

What is your most treasured possession? Carney: Original Utensilo by Dorothee Becker. Edgerton: The land my family lives on.

What’s your earliest memory of an encounter with design? Carney: My Nickelodeon clock radio. Edgerton: Questioning why my mother spent a lot of time shopping for tassels for her drapery in the ’90s.

What contemporary design trend do you despise? Squiggles.

Finish this statement: All design should... Leave you wanting less.

What’s in your dream house? Full sized trees, all built-in furniture, a cookie dispenser.

How can the design world be more inclusive? Easier and more inclusive access to design education.

What do you wish non-designers understood about the design industry? Handmade furniture will never cost the same as mass produced pieces.

You can learn more about Muhly on Instagram.

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