So to begin with could you tell us a little more about the name 2131, where does it come from?
One of the first pieces I ever worked on was with a friend, refurbishing a table we found on the side of the road after a party. We threw it into the back of my car, and then spent part of that week modifying and refinishing it in my garage.
I gradually turned that cramped space into a shop that year, filling it with tools, and teaching myself the basics of woodworking. These days we have everything built in a much more suitable space nearby, but the name of the collection, which was our address there, serves as homage to that garage.
You were trained and work currently as an architect. At what point did you decide you also wanted to design furniture?
I think from the start it was less about architecture as it was just about designing. When I graduated from the interiors & architecture program at Otis I graduated straight into the start of a recession. You could only find work at firms on a project basis, a few weeks or months at a time. Teaching myself how to build furniture was my way of staying engaged in design, and was a means to an end in that sense. I needed to keep designing and working with my hands at something, knowing it would all come back around eventually. I was also finding out that I was most interested in multi-disciplinary offices, and so that became rather convenient for me.
How do you feel that each practice informs the other?
Architecture is an all encompassing thing, it naturally lends itself down to the interiors, furniture, fixtures. They're defined and grouped by practices, but when you're standing in a space you take it all in as one thing, as one experience. Sometimes the architecture has it's own language and sometimes it's mostly a vessel, and in varying degrees the furniture should compliment and complete the mood that's being created.
There’s a very consistent design language across the 2131 collection. Do you have a standard design process that you work through in developing each new piece?
With this collection I had some ideas of pieces that I wanted to see and be able to use. Sometimes it's as simple as thinking something can be beautiful, but the best pieces come from when you have something to solve. Like the extending table, which is my solution to the drop leaf table and it's mechanisms. I was thinking about a more elegant piece that's function was as clean and simple as it's appearance. I wanted it to be able to command a room while we were at it, too.
I was cognizant of that fact that I needed to keep a cohesive aesthetic, so I stuck to certain forms and specifically to walnut in the collection.
Once the idea and medium is there the process is all in the prototyping. A lot of trial and error until you can stand back and look at something that feels done.
What are your plans for the next year and what are you most excited about?
I'm generally excited to become a better designer, and developing and improving my intuitions.
I'm working on several homes and restaurants at the moment, but also have pieces I'll be adding to 2131. I can approach other projects with the intention to just produce good design, regardless of whether it's specifically my obsession at the moment or not, but I'll always be adding to this collection as something that's currently my own taste, and a conduit for getting certain ideas out.