Latest Articles in Interviews

Snohetta Craig

Four Questions for Craig Dykers

Earlier this week I went down to SFMOMA to see the unveiling of the design for the expansion of the art museum by the Norwegian architects at Snøhetta. I posted a video of what the building is meant to look like, but I also got a chance to talk with the firm's senior partner Craig Dykers. Dykers was mild, approachable, and unpretentious. In his presentation he spoke significantly of making a place where people feel "comfortable" and eschewed all high theoretical jargon. I had a chance to chat with him before his talk. Here's what we discussed.
December 5, 2011
Fabian Debora illustration by Riccardo Vecchio

Street Smart

Pursuing his passion for painting gave Fabian Debora a means to transcend his troubled past.
November 17, 2011
Transparency SplashPage

Transparency from Perkins+Will

Transparency is a new website from the architecture firm Perkins+Will that launches on November 17th. The site looks to be an exciting new home for information about toxins, asthma triggers, and other nasty substances commonly found in the built environment. The most recent iteration of a research project that began in 2002, Transparency should be required reading for anyone hoping to learn more about removing carcinogens from the buildings they live and work in. I had a chat with Chris Youssef, a materials expert and interior designer for Perkins+Will who compiled much of the research for Transparency. Here's what he had to say about the project.
November 17, 2011
artspace thumb

Q&A with Artspace Founder

If the "Introduction to Art Collecting" story in our December/January 2011 issue whet your appetite for art acquisition—or if you simply have a blank wall crying out for some decoration—take a look at, founded this past March. The site bills itself as "the premier online marketplace for contemporary art," and it's certainly impressive, taking web shopping to a whole new level. With a couple clicks (and several thousand dollars) you can own a limited-edition print by Takashi Murakami or Louise Bourgeois, a watercolor by Marcel Dzama, or any number of artworks among the hundreds of pieces featured on the site at any given time. Membership to the site is free, and artworks start at $200. Herewith, some questions for (and answers from) Catherine Levene, Artspace's co-founder and CEO.
November 3, 2011
Toaster Mica

The Toaster Project

One of the most exciting books to come across my desk in the last while is designer Thomas Thwaites' incredible The Toaster Project: Or a Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch. In it Thwaites recounts his efforts to source and collect the materials necessary to make a toaster (and we're talking about extracting bits of mica and steel from the earth here), and then build the thing. The result is a hilarious, wonderfully wrought account of how hard it is to really make anything from scratch, much less an electronic device. I asked Thwaites a few questions about the book whilst he was in transit to the Pop!Tech conference in Camden, Maine. His answers were revealing. His book is even better.
October 24, 2011
rolling record jack white

Jack White on Design

We got the low down on Jack White’s Rolling Record Store in our October issue, but the man had much more to say. Here, he talks about unfinished furniture designs, high school with Harry Bertoia, and why we should all be listening to Captain Beefheart.
September 28, 2011
Yasuaki Onoda of ArchiAid in his studio.

Yasuaki Onoda of ArchiAid

Architect as emergency response worker: that’s the concept behind ArchiAid, an organization founded after Japan’s March 11th tsunami and earthquake that aims to help revive the battered coastal region. The group of over 200 architects—which includes UCLA Department of Architecture Chair Hitoshi Abe and dozens of other well-known Japanese architects—have held symposiums and workshops, joined local planning committees, interviewed disaster victims about the history of their obliterated villages, and drawn up town plans that take safety, sustainability, and culture into account. I caught up with Yasuaki Onoda, a founding member of ArchiAid, professor at Tohoku University’s Department of Architecture in Sendai, and collaborator with Toyo Ito on the Sendai Mediatheque building. When I left his design lab at around ten in the evening, he and his students were still bent over their models, tirelessly designing the future towns of Tohoku.
September 20, 2011
Tom Moser Deacon

Three Questions for Tom Moser

This morning I spoke with Tom Moser, the man who founded the Auburn, Maine, furniture and woodworking firm Thos. Moser, about the reissue of his 1977 book, How to Build Shaker Furniture. We spoke about the endurance of Shaker designs, the book, and what he hopes to achieve through his work. The former Bates College professor told me that he hopes his book, which was out of print for about a decade, catches on again. We covered the Thos. Moser Deacons's bench in our October Made in the USA issue, and as part of the release of the book, Moser has offered a great PDF that describes how the Deacon's bench is made over at Popular Woodworking. Read on.
September 15, 2011
San Francisco Skyline, Liz Hickok

Molding the Modern City

Many of us have taken “professional development” courses, if only to keep up with the pre-teens already coding their own social network or cutting their first film. When it comes time to break free from basic HTML coding skills and transition towards the hip, multimedia style of HTML5, pleasant surprises are not usually found hidden within in the code. But courses at BAVC, San Francisco’s Bay Area Video Coalition, can lead to some thrilling discoveries—especially if the course is taught by SF-based photographer and installation artist, Liz Hickok.
August 24, 2011