The Everyday Carry of an Architect: Jon Handley of Pulltab
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What you need to know about Jon:
As one of the most active users on Dwell, Jon started Pulltab in 2001 with his wife and partner, Melissa Baker. As a New York-based architectural firm that specializes in multiple aspects of residential design, they see themselves as modernists who respect history, emotions, and the senses. Melissa and Jon run their firm completely on their own in their Flatiron District office in Manhattan—directly across the street from Madison Square Park.
POC cycling helmet: "Melissa and I cycle to work, which is about 10 miles each way. This is one of the best parts of the day—a perfect way to put your work thoughts to rest and concentrate on pedaling."
Ziggy Stardust CD by David Bowie: "Okay, I don’t really carry this CD around with me, but David Bowie was so incredible, and this is one of my favorite albums of all time."
Vintage Casio swimmer watch: "This was a gift from Melissa a few years back. I’m more of an analog person, but I grew up on the swim team and this was the watch that the cool, older guys—who I looked up to—wore back in 1982."
Freitag messenger bag: "These last about 300 years and are the perfect size for any light items I need to carry around."
Tajima measuring tape in imperial and metric: "A general contractor had one of these on site—I stole it! It fits your hand perfectly and the metric side is great for measuring bike frames."
NYC Metrocard: "I miss our tokens very much, but this plastic card is a must-have for getting around the city."
Architect’s scale: "This is an old scale from a previous office—probably on its third owner."
Vintage Clash badge: "‘Lost in the Supermarket’—one of my favorite songs, ever."
Swiss Army knife: "The mini version with scissors is a must."
Waterproof matches: "Just in case?"
iPhone: "A great tool...Wait, forget about using this for work—load up Strava and go!"
Atoma sketch pad: "These are made in Belgium. They’re very nifty, as you can customize them by easily adding and removing sheets. Plus, the paper is super nice."
Pencil: "HB lead is our go to—actually, I like 2HB as well."
Leica digital camera: "It’s good-looking on the outside, lightweight, and has an amazing Leica lens."
Pocket level: "This was a gift from a general contractor...I didn’t steal this one!"
The Eyes of the Skin by Juhani Pallasmaa: "Again, I don’t actually carry this around. It’s more something that’s always rattling around in my head—really one of the most important architectural books I’ve ever read."
Marvy Le Pen in Burgundy: "For red-marking shop drawings."
Marvy Le Pen in Oriental Blue: "For sketching."
Pentel mechanical pencil in .9mm, F lead: "For mechanical drafting..."
"...The bed sketch here was done with this pencil. I think I first owned one when I was 10 years old."
Keep up with Jon and Melissa’s work by following their Pulltab profile here.