Third Generation Upholstery Designer, Los Angeles, CA
Michael Felix is a handcrafted furniture company that designs and produces upholstered goods in Southern California. A 3rd generation upholstery designer, Michael started from the ground up as a sample-maker’s assistant in the furniture factory founded in 1959 by his grandfather.
Q: To begin with I've got to ask about those long stuffed textile tubes… What are they?
A: I call them Land Noodles! They're really cozy to bundle up with and I make them modular so you can attach as many as you'd like together to infinity.
Q: Being based out of a shared studio space in downtown Los Angeles, how do you feel like this impacts your work?
A: It definitely impacts my work and it's truly inspiring to work around so many talented people. I have a studio mate who does letterpress whom I've collaborated with printing posters promoting my Friends Stools, and another who is one of the best fashion photographers in the city if not the country. He shot my Flora chairs for me. We all help each other out and it's a great community of creatives. Communal ping pong is also important to us of course.
Q: All of your furniture has a really lovely gestural, almost animated quality. What does your process look like before you jump into prototyping a new design?
A: Thank you! I do a lot of sketching out of ideas before I touch a computer. It's important for me to think of all the possibilities of the piece and how I can make the functionality interesting. The Friend stools with their stacking ability and the Land Noodles have that functional playfulness about them.
"I'd like to expand to different areas of design and to produce conceptual work that takes people to different places. I have a couple table ideas and a new chair that I think can accomplish that. "
Q: As a third-generation upholstery designer do you think there any advantages to your trade in the 21st-century?
A: I think upholstery can be a difficult trade and manufacturing process to get into. There's so many materials coming together and it's purpose/functionality is totally in the eye of the beholder. I definitely feel advantaged because kids aren't rushing to do it based on it's difficulty, and I grew up with it. So it feels natural to me.
Q: What are your plans for Michael Felix over the next year and what are you most excited about?
A: I'd like to expand to different areas of design and to produce conceptual work that takes people to different places. I have a couple table ideas and a new chair that I think can accomplish that. Also I'm really excited about new collaborations, I really like working with other people.