Although Grattan‚ 35‚ and Caplowe‚ 28‚ started out in two of the world’s top design hubs—New York and London‚ respectively—the duo say Mexico City is where they truly found their footing.
"The design scene here is growing rapidly‚" says Caplowe. Adds Grattan: "It gives young designers the space to explore and experiment but without the financial constraints found in many other large capitals."
The pair’s pieces are inspired by Mexico City's Art Deco and tropical modern architecture. A highlight is the Docked en Río bed‚ which—aided by Pia Riverola’s artful photography—turned the walnut bed’s cotton-upholstered folded frame into an Internet sensation.
The designers are currently working on a new collection and showroom‚ both of which will debut during Design Week Mexico in October.
Learn why Grattan would like to be an antiques dealer in another life, and read his other responses to our Q&A, below.
Hometown: Hudson, New York
Current Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Describe what you make in 140 characters. I make furniture and other functional objects. In a future life, instead of making things, I would like to be an antiques dealer.
What's the last thing you designed? Most recently, a new jewelry store in Mexico City. I was expecting a chilled out summer, but lately I've been designing al. I'm designing the new showroom, a new collection of furniture, and a new apartment kitchen.
Do you have a daily creative ritual? Intense exercise is my daily creative ritual, but it's more like an obsession. It helps me clear my head and makes space for new ideas for solving design problems.
How do you procrastinate? Instagram
What everyday object would you like to redesign? Why? I think a lot of everyday objects are well designed and intuitive. However, I would like to see some objects removed from the world, such as plastic bottles and styrofoam cups.
Who are your heroes (in design, in life, or in both)? My father, full stop.
What skill would you most like to learn? Well, I've been living in Mexico City for three years and my "fluent" Spanish is terrible!
What is your most treasured possession? My knowledge
What's your earliest memory of an encounter with design? As a child, I watched television shows about landscape architecture and design. Also, the Learning Channel previewed a show on plastic surgery. At some point in my life I considered all of these professions.
What contemporary design trend do you despise? I can tell I'm getting older when I say this, but I despise the ugly-beautiful aesthetic. I can appreciate organic forms and surprising material combinations, but the newer stuff is beyond my comprehension.
Are you left-handed or right-handed? Right
Finish this statement: All design should...be timeliness.
I sketch with a…computer.
I work best with…music.
I do my best work...late at night.
My studio is…a study in head-clearing minimalism.
Instagram is...a promotional tool.
Choose one: Bauhaus, Memphis, or Brutalist? Bauhaus
Rank the following: (1) Form, (2) Function, and (3) Fun
Choose one: Less is More, Just Enough is Enough, or More is More? Less is More
Choose one: Past, Present, or Future? Past
If you had to pick a favorite material, what would it be? Wood
What’s in your dream house? Lots of love, with a large kitchen and garden.
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