“We always thought it would be so cool if Dr. Seuss and the Eameses had a love child,” says Seth Grizzle, who, along with Jonathan Junker, founded
Grizzle admires the architecture of Peter Zumthor, who designed the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 in London as part of the gallery’s annual series.
the conceptual design studio Graypants. That theoretical offspring might have dreamed up whimsical and experimental designs much like the duo produces today in their Seattle studio. The two—who met during an architecture class while wearing the same pair of gray pants—first gained attention for their sculptural line of Scraplights, where they reimagine discarded cardboard boxes into upcycled pendants. While their attitude is light-hearted, their environmental and social values are serious. They have a satellite Amsterdam office and work with local social work programs to employ people with disabilities, and a self-imposed efficiency challenge drove them to turn a single sheet of plywood into four of their pareddown Slice chairs. Whether creating architecture, products or furniture, the team has a simple goal: “We strive to design responsibly,” says Junker. “And we have a heck of a lot of fun doing it.” graypants.com; 206.420.3912
CAUSE AND EFFECT
SETH GRIZZLE AND JONATHAN JUNKER Design icons: SG: Steve Jobs, Charles and Ray Eames, Peter Zumthor and Steven Holl. JJ: The Eames duo for their constant exploration, experimentation and for not shying away from uncharted territories. They had fun with architecture, industrial design, film, photography, graphic design and more without blinking an eye.
Greatest influences: JJ: I look up to brands who put their core values in front of everything else through periods of growth and tough times. Patagonia is a great example.
I became interested in design… SG: Through my high school teacher, John Schwartz. He introduced me to new ideas and challenged me to see things differently.
Most engaging design period: JJ: The industrial revolution. It may not be very enchanting, but culturally it’s very engaging for me. I like to think suddenly people felt that anything was possible. LUXE INTERIORS