This issue of Scion magazine is all about space and how to use it. Maximizing it. Adapting to it. Reacting to it. Reappropriating it. Transforming it. More and more we find that a utilitarian approach defines how we adjust to the limitations we’re presented with. In this magazine you’ll see all kinds of creative decisions that can be made out of necessity, and how those decisions can foster even more creativity. These pages are filled with radical and unrestrained thinking about how to make use of the space that surrounds us. And if that space is gone, how to dream up some new space of your own.
Brought to you by the 2012 Scion iQ & the iQ Project scion.com/iq scionav.com/iq
The iQ Project features: • The Scion iQ Project Museum (scioniqproject.com), including exhibits on Eastside Chicano Punk, Prince Paul & Strata Records • The iQ Interactive Auto Brochure (scionav.com/iq), including contributions from Neil Krug, Franki Chan, Ana Serrano, Evelyn Lee & many more • Shows at Scion’s Installation LA gallery (scinoav.com/art/installationlosangeles): - A Product of Design, curated by Gluekit (September 17 to October 8, 2011) - Use Me, curated by Yuri Psinakis (October 15 to November 5, 2011) - From Here To Eternity, curated by Karin Catt & Kenton Parker (November 19 to December 17, 2011) • 10 Scion iQ Art Cars created by Dust La Rock, David Choe, Mishka & more
Table of Contents 2. Peter Anthony A better solution for post-disaster housing. 4. Steven M. Johnson The illustrator takes on modern office culture and offers some out-there alternatives. 8. 3rd Ward Brooklyn’s gathering spot for freelancers and a center for co-working.
10x10x10 12. Souther Salazar The artist depicts his whimsical forest hutch (featuring Cat World). 18. French The English illustrator builds a creepy combination of Scandinavian church and backyard shed. 22. Grace Perry Landmine Marathon’s lead singer envisions a science fiction-inspired home. 28. Mikhail Bortnik The co-founder of clothing label Mishka seeks creative inspiration. 32. Todd Edwards The dance music pioneer imagines a studio escape. 36. Altercation The New Orleans-based “life artist” makes room for dance, sculpture and crystal healing. 40. Ryan Staake The music video wizard behind Pomp&Clout creates an efficient wilderness getaway. 46. Claire Crespo The artist and queen of kooking builds a kitchen perfect for Yummyfun times. 52. Jerry Park The Los Angeles hairstylist’s pod looks to align the body and mind with the outside world. 56. Sophie Gateau The French artist and director puts together a compartmentalized live/work space.
60. Joe Fig The New York artist explores and depicts the studios of his colleagues in extreme detail. 64. Andreas Stavropoulous The designer built a mobile studio to keep him close to his work sites and the source of his inspiration. 66. SpareSpace Designer Jack Brandsma repurposes neglected buildings for work environments. 68. About Town
Scion Project Manager: Jeri Yoshizu, Sciontist Editor: Eric Ducker Creative Direction: Scion
Art Director: Jamie Story Production Director: Anton Schlesinger Contributing Editor: Caroline McCloskey Assistant Editor: Maud Deitch Photographers & Illustrators: Rich Arbitelle, Eli Born, Mikhail Bortnik, Martin Etienne, French, Sophie Gateau, Horsebites, Joel Orveta, Souther Salazar, Ryan Staake, Mark Whalen (Kill Pixie), Alan Worn
For additional information on Scion, email, write or call. Scion Customer Experience 19001 S. Western Avenue Mail Stop WC12 Torrance, CA 90501 Phone: 866.70.SCION Fax: 310.381.5932 Email: Email us through the contact page located on scion.com Hours: M-F / 6am-5pm PST Online Chat: M-F / 6am-6pm PST Scion Magazine is published by malbon For more information about malbon, contact firstname.lastname@example.org © 2011 Scion, a marque of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. All rights reserved. Scion, the Scion logo, iQ, tC, xB and xD, are trademarks of Toyota Motor Corporation. 00430-MAG20-LS Printed on 100% Post Consumer Waste Recycled Paper.
Story: Caroline McCloskey
In 1973, Steven M. Johnson began his career as an artist and an editorial cartoonist for Sierra magazine. It wasn't until a year later that he—“accidentally,” as he puts it—discovered the niche that he is now known for. When his editors requested that he draw humorous ideas for the design of recreational vehicles, he says, “I filled a sketch book with more than one hundred drawings even though only 16 were needed.” Since then, he has been working as an urban planner, artist and future-trends analyst, and always has a sketchbook nearby to document his amusing takes on the future of design in all fields—from New York City taxis to household plumbing. A fierce observer of the world around him and an almost shockingly prolific illustrator, Johnson has thousands of drawings, all reflecting the world as seen through his critical eye and biting humor. Here he shares his thoughts and drawings on a particularly important, and for many unpleasant, space: the modern American office.
The notion that the office workspace is ideal and perfect for all types of workers is flawed. There are subtle tyrannies that one cannot ignore while working in an office cubicle: deadlines, managers with nothing much to do but make themselves look good by giving you too much work, glaring fluorescent lights, the sound of air conditioners, office chatter, unnecessary meetings, the need to appear cheerful, the frustrated need to take a nap or meditate sometimes and, with some companies, a semi-compulsory pressure to socialize with co-workers after hours. For the creative person, the deep thinker, or the overly sensitive types like myself, these factors interfere with work and creativity. My 1983.
ideas for work cubicles include places to hide and places where a manager or chatting workmates feel unwelcome! I am not sure why a work cubicle should not be a private cave with a Do Not Enter sign outside.
My other ideas project a darker idea that implies that workers are so fearful about losing their work (and health benefits) that they work long hours or even stay at work all night! I provided images of cubicles that are miniature live-in studio apartments. One is a slave to the company under these conditions.
As told to Maud Deitch.
Story: Maud Deitch Photography: Angie Cope & Gianna Keiko Rankart
In the middle of blocks of warehouses in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, there is a 35,000-square-foot space filled with the sound of saws cutting wood, blowtorches adhering stones to metal and fingers clicking and dragging vectors across screens. In a building that was once used to manufacture products, or material to make products, there are now hundreds of artists manufacturing ideas and cutting-edge products. Founded in 2004 by Jason Goodman and Jeremy Lovitt, two friends with a history in both art and real estate, 3rd Ward has become one of Brooklyn’s artistic hives. Goodman and Lovitt moved to the borough with creative aspirations, but missed the access to equipment and resources that art school provided them. They decided to make a place for people who felt similarly, as well as those who were working in the booming freelance market, but didn’t want to be trapped at home alone all day. It’s by fulfilling this second need that Lovitt and Goodman have really become innovators. “Coworking,” as they call it, is when self-employed people work side-by-side, allowing them access to the idea sharing and companionship of an office environment while still retaining their autonomy. It has become a staple of the 3rd Ward philosophy. Membership at 3rd Ward comes in three levels. The Basic provides discounts on all classes and work areas. The Basic Co-Worker has everything from the Basic, but with free use of the media lab. Then there’s the Unlimited, where all classes, labs and studio spaces are free and open for use. All levels of membership come with a free bicycle and free coffee. “This isn’t just a place where you just drop in from 9 to 5,” says Jessica Tom, a representative from 3rd Ward. “It’s a place you can call your home. It’s like your family—you work there, you live there, you hang out.” 3rdward.com
The Scion iQ makes the most of its space. Brought to you by the 2012 Scion iQ & the iQ Project scion.com/iq scionav.com/iq
We invited ten creative thinkers to design their ideal live/work space. The only limitation we gave them was that the space should not exceed the dimensions of 10 feet by 10 feet by 10 feet. There were no restrictions in terms of what that space could be filled with or how it could be modified or where it could exist. We wanted to see how these people would address their needs if they were not bound by budget, technology or reality. Looking at the results as a collection, some are painstakingly realistic, some are incredible feats of the imagination. All of them are fascinating in their own way.
Interior detail features of Souther Salazar's live/work space.
Souther Salazar has made a name for himself by creating art that combines an almost folky, childlike color palette and sensibility with the cut & paste methodology of zine-making. True to form, Salazar maintained this quirky, playful tone when developing his ideal workspace, combining plenty of storage for both cats and paintings alike. Here he explains some of the things that influenced the creation of his space.
I am currently living in a house overlooking a river. A lot of the elements in my ideal space are very similar to the elements in my real space, but converted into a tree space. I love trees and being around trees, and have always tried to live in places that have windows near tree canopies, so I can feel like Iâ€™m in a tree house. When I was a kid my dad built a great tree house for us, and we spent tons of time up there.
In the house I live in now with my fiancĂŠe, there is a large picture window and from the high vantage point we can see tons of creatures: hawks, foxes, raccoons, ducks, etc. I particularly like to watch all the feral cats exploring the environment. They seem to have a lot of little secret places they go, one of them is under a large tree, another is under our deck in the dark where the ivy grows wild.
One time, I was walking on the other side of the river with my brother, and we saw what looked like a carefully trimmed portal through a mass of tangled vines and branches. As we approached it, a friendly cat came out to greet us. When we peeked into the opening, we saw several pairs of glowing eyes. It felt like a glimpse into a secret cat world. We later discovered that the portal was really the entrance to a hobo jungle, and that the tunnel through the vines and branches led to a small fort of scrap wood, with one side of the fort open to the river. We were able to get better glimpses into the hobo fort by rafting down the river and peeking in as we floated by. A small elf dummy was propped up on a chair outside the fort, probably as some sort of strange device to scare off intruders.
Visit Cat World in the interactive version of this issue at scionav.com/scionmagazine20
All illustrations by Souther Salazar.
French is an English artist known for expressive, precise and often terrifying drawings. This style combined with a love for wicked underground metal sets him apart in the illustration scene. Below he describes how he approached his ideal workspace, which isn’t that far off from how he approached his real one. I wanted to create a cross between a Scandinavian church and a shed that a crazy old guy would have in his back garden. If you were to actually make it, you would build it yourself and it would be a labor of love, like a drawing. If you build something out of wood you can always add to it, fill in the dents and gaps. The aesthetic is kind of Conan the Barbarian meets folk music. The objects in the room reflect this aesthetic. The throne, skull and pulpit each serve a functional use, while retaining the character that I wanted. I wanted to have a sort of drawing “throne” that would be made for me, like an emperor of the pen. It’s just a fun idea really, a bit like the throne Conan sits on at the end of Conan the Barbarian. I wanted the whole thing to be lit by candle light and I thought it was only fitting if the lamps were made from skulls. I guess it would be a light bulb instead of candle, as a candle with all the drawings could be a bit dangerous. Lastly, the pulpit would be my drawing desk/light box. It would be so much better than the boring light box I have right now. I think it would inspire me to create the best drawings I can, as if they are preaching the word of mark making on paper. In my old studio I covered the walls with drawings over drawings over drawings. I built the desk myself, out of two old shelves, and replaced the door handle with an old skateboard truck. It had more brick and a cool window and was full of old furniture I made myself. I like to be self-sufficient. Watch a video of French building his ideal studio in the interactive version of this issue at scionav.com/scionmagazine20 funeralfrench.com
Pulpit drawing desk (left), skull lamp (right).
Drawing throne (left), exterior view (right).
All illustrations by French.
Grace Perry, of Phoenix, Arizona metal band Landmine Marathon, decimates listeners with her incredible roar.
Perry is a science fiction fan and incorporated elements of this world when creating her ideal space and envisioning what her life would be like within it.
In a space limited to just 10 x 10 x 10 feet, the walls would need to be transparent for me, but mirrors to the outside world. I would use a futuristic projector to offer an ample amount of possibilities for my artificial surroundings. The walls would have to be made of a material that could absorb and repel gravity at my convenience, allowing for space travel. I would be equipped to combat even the most treacherous intergalactic obstacles. The contents of the room would be minimal but critical. First, I would want a companion of some kind. Right now the only living creature inside my house, excluding myself, is my tortoise, Kitty. He unfortunately does not provide much entertainment, and to be stuck in such a small room with another person might lead to either murder or suicide. So my companion would be a dog, my childhood three-legged chihuahua named Samson, but with a bionic leg and a jet pack. Also, there would be a library of sci-fi/fantasy novels and a black leather-bound journal with infinite blank pages, along with a lead pencil that would never go dull. The floor would be grass and the light inside the room would not have a direct source. Finally, there would be no visual door of any kind, only a portal that opens periodically every few hours, leading to an unknown destination. Check out Grace Perry's science fiction reading list in the interactive version of this issue at scionav.com/scionmagazine20 landminemarathon.blogspot.com
Mystery portal (left), three-legged chihuahua named Samson from childhood with bionic leg and jetpack (right).
Illustrations: Mikhail Bortnik & Joel Orveta
Mikhail Bortnik is the co-founder of the clothing label Mishka. With a bold and twisted graphic style plus a propensity for arcane pop culture references, Mishka has grown since its simple 2003 beginnings to include three retail stores, global distribution and a fervent following amongst streetwear aficionados.
Following in Mishkaâ€™s tradition of wearing their inspiration on their sleeves, Bortnik explains how his space makes the most of the culture he has absorbed and transformed.
My concept was to create a dream studio, a space that was comfortable to work in that I could also draw inspiration from. I put in a lot of the aesthetic elements that fuel and drive Mishka: horror elements, pulp elements, funhouse/carnivalesque type design elements. A lot of the furniture and the styling of the walls we modeled after traditional haunted houses and funhousesâ€”the giant devil mouths over the seating, the walls rebuilt from old funhouse walls, the table has tentacle legs and lots of reclining seating.
In the illustrations there are a lot of monitors built in and the floor is recessed and has a Plexiglas plate under it with lots of collection stuff beneath it, so you can look down and see comic books or toys or whatever. That was something we thought about doing in our store, but it wasn’t gonna happen because it was too expensive. I worked on the sketch with Joel Orveta, who did a lot of the brick wall paintings in Mishka’s New York store, so I knew he could translate it. I gave him a sketch of the layout and the sort of stuff I was looking for and then he hit me back with some more detailed sketches. I’m not really comfortable in a workspace where I can’t lounge or just relax and hang out in, so we wanted to make it an environment that we would want to be in that could get ideas going. Hear Mikhail Bortnik explain his room's details in the interactive version of this issue at scionav.com/scionmagazine20 mishkanyc.com
Illustrations: Alan Worn
New Jersey native Todd Edwards is among the most respected and influential producers in dance music. Credited with inventing UK garage even though he lives in the United States, over the years Edwards has amassed an impressive list of international DJ appearances, music releases and collaborations (including “Face to Face” from Daft Punk’s album Discovery). At the end of the day, however, Edwards comes home to his house in New Jersey, which he shares with his family, to produce and invent new songs and sounds. Here he explains how he re-imagined his home studio. Basically I spend most of my time in a room with four walls. It can get very lonely. I don’t have a lot of outside contact because I’m constantly working crazy hours. My ideal studio would be a dome. The walls and ceiling would be covered with one continuous high definition video screen. This would give the same effect as a miniature planetarium. The room could either transport me to different locations or have images projected on it—a live feed of whatever location I want to look at while I am working. That could be the ocean, a mountaintop, a stage at a concert, etc. Whatever visual I feel inspired by would be surrounding me as if I were there. It’s about being able to leave that room that gets claustrophobic after awhile. I love the idea of the holographic computers in Minority Report and Iron Man. Since a sampler is my most valued tool in music composition, instead of a computer monitor to display my sampling work, I want fully interactive holograms. Each sample from my library would be displayed in front of me, with both visual soundwave representation as well as the picture and name of the album I sampled it from, if I used an album. No more knobs to turn or a mouse to click. It would be completely hands on, literally. It would free up the space so I don't just have all these things sitting around that I don’t necessarily need to use all the time. I would also love a device to stop time, so I can eliminate the continuous stress of running behind schedule. The stairs are because the studio is my place of solitude. Sometimes, as a producer, when you’re not DJing a lot, you spend too much time alone, but other times you need to be able to escape and work. Explore a soundboard of Todd Edwards samples in the interactive version of this issue at scionav.com/scionmagazine20 facebook.com/toddedwardsmusic nutrendmusic.com
Depictions of the domeâ€™s holographic capabilities (left) and placement in Todd Edwardsâ€™ home (right).
Illustrations: Mark Whalen (Kill Pixie)
Art workshop table (left), display shelves (right).
Altercation is a “life artist” (a term coined by a friend of hers) whose work encompasses dance, art and healing. She’s a touring performer with Big Freedia and teaches private classes on how to dance to New Orleans bounce music. Recently, Altercation and Freedia began a lecture series covering topics including gender identity, race relations and class, and using dance as a tool to understand where people are coming from. She lives in New Orleans.
I wanted to have a lot of light and mirrors and floor space. In my space right now I have a big work table and a lot of shelves on the walls. I dance and I do healing work with rocks and crystals, so I wanted to have as much floor space as possible for stretching and dancing and still have lots of storage space for my art and rocks. You know how in old libraries they have those ladders that can run along the wall? I put those in too, so there could be shelves that run all the way up to the ceiling and can still be accessible. I decorated the space mostly with art and crystals. I do mobiles and make shadow boxes in glass jars with found objects and nail polish. It’s a small space, so we had talked about having a Murphy bed that can be pulled down from the wall and then put away. And I had to have a clawfoot tub—wherever I’m living I’ve got to be able to take a bath. See a portfolio of Altercation's art in the interactive version of this issue at scionav.com/scionmagazine20
Pomp&Clout's Ryan Staake has been making a name for himself by taking music videos for acts like the Suzan and Robyn to the next level. He’s now incorporating elements of user interactivity and computer-generated radness. Using skills acquired as a smartphone developer, Staake is quickly becoming an innovator in his field. He worked with an architect to build “a pristine live and work box in the woods of Northern Vermont” and told us what it means to him. I’ve always been interested in having a sanctuary away from the city, somewhere to retreat from people, complications, wires, multiple monitors and social stuff. It would be a space to focus on ideation, relaxation, activity and the power of an idea, rather than the number of steps it takes to create it. I want to be able to go out and chop a piece of wood as easily as I can click my mouse, and this is where I’d like to do it. This project started as a self-initiated thing where I was talking with an architect friend of mine about the possibility of creating a really small, relatively cheaply built structure in the woods of Vermont. Once I had the opportunity to create it for this project and ground it more in reality, the process shifted away from talking about these things that weren’t rooted in any physical building without talking about what was possible. We had to make something that could actually be built. The whole core of the idea was to build a place that’s incredibly small and incredibly simple, but allows for intense ideation on projects. You know, the stereotypical idea of running away from society into nature, temporarily. Watch a guided tour of Ryan Staake’s space in the interactive vesion of this issue at scionav.com/scionmagazine20 pompandclout.com
Exterior views of Ryan Staake's live/work space during the day and at night.
Interior view of Ryan Staake's live/work space.
All illustrations by Ryan Staake of Pomp&Clout
Photography: Eli Born
Clare Crespo is a Los Angeles-based artist known for her humorous, foodcentric art. She is also the author of two cookbooks, The Secret Life of Food and Hey There, Cupcake! When we asked her to create her ideal live/workspace, she conveniently already had it in her head, and in her garage.
I do a crazy cooking show called The Yummyfun Kooking Series. My husband, James Chinlund, and I designed a set in our garage and we shot three episodes in there like proper crazy people. My character in the show is a sort of cooking superhero named Yummyclare and she is a tiny person who lives behind the wall in a real house. She’s really my alter ego. I’m not an actor, so she’s actually who I am if you look inside my brain. Yummyclare wakes at night to have weird cooking adventures with her far-out friends who live in different “apartments” in the wall. Her apartment in the show is the set in my garage.
When you first see the set it is a sort of a worn wood room. The space transforms as I get ready for “work.” Countertops slide out of the walls. A neon orange stovetop slides out from one wall. An oven slides out from another wall. A bright yellow bookshelf emerges from a hidden wall. Cabinets filled with all sort of fantasy products and utensils and ingredients are revealed behind camouflaged cabinets. The space unfolds into a bright and crazy new space ready for KOOKING (what I do in my life on the show AND real life!).
Explore Clare Crespo’s space in the interactive version of this magazine at scionav.com/scionmagazine20
Interior details of Clare Crespo's live/work space.
Illustrations: Rich Arbitelle
Interior details and capabilities of Jerry Park's Aliign space.
Jerry Park is a Los Angeles-based hairstylist. He will soon open up his own space, Aliign, which will be a combination raw food café, yoga studio, hair salon and clothing store. For his room, Park aimed to bring all the facets of Aliign (the spelling is intentional) into a single space that could be transformed with a push of a button. Here he describes the guiding philosophy behind both his ideal space and the place that will soon exist in real life. I wanted a powerful but minimal space. I wanted a lot of white and for it to be very clean, somewhere where the message comes across. It had to have strong architecture, but not too many bells and whistles. I wanted it to be by the water or it could be in the city, because it’s all about healthy living. I wanted a pod that you could take anywhere. You could take it into space if you wanted to. The whole concept of Aliign is that it’s a conscious movement. It’s a new way of thinking that incorporates modern philosophies and mixes them with the traditional knowledge that’s out there. People’s well being comes from the core on out. So how do you change that? You start by changing people’s moods with their diet. If you eat fast food, you’re always going to be in a grumpy mood, and chances are you don’t really work out that much. So you’re kind of negative and in a low vibration. But if we can attack that at the core with raw food and yoga, then you have the diet and the balance. And when your body feels healthy, you feel more confident wearing your haircut and your clothes because you feel good about your body, you feel good about your nutrition. The inner body will align with the outer body. Then you have a sense of glow about you. Then it’s about creating awareness of how you think, how you live, being on point with your job and just having positive energy. And now if your entire body is completely aligned, from the core on out, you can align solely on natural energy from the sun, and that’s self-sustainable. So now the body aligns with the building, the building aligns with the Earth and the Earth aligns with the universe. It all interconnects with each other. Watch a video about the Aliign philosophy in the interactive version of this magazine at scionav.com/scionmagazine20
Illustrations: Martin Etienne
Photography: Sophie Gateau
French artist and director Sophie Gateau deals with space in all of her work, whether it be a movie, commercial, music video or any other medium. Engaging with the world around her is a consistent theme, so it’s no surprise that she created a space that is constantly changing and adapting.
My room is very functional, it’s a workspace. My work as a director usually brings me to different locations all over the world, so I imagined my room as a space that I could bring with me everywhere. The room could even have legs and be able to move and meet other rooms, like the “walking city” from the Archigram group.
My room is defined by the six walls that create the cube. Each of the walls has a specific function. Usually, those different functions are split into different locations or spaces, but my ideal room would bring them all together. The inside is empty. Everything will come out of the walls, and the walls create the space. I imagine the room as being able to rotate on each face. For example, the wall “Out,” whose function is to be a connection between the inside of the room and the outside world, can show the sky (if the room is in a garden, for example) or the floor (if the room was hanging on a tree). Download a PDF to make your own space in the interactive version of this issue of scionav.com/scionmagazine20 sophiegateau.com
Depictions of Sophie Gateauâ€™s live/work space in locations around the world.
Interview: Eric Ducker
A large theme in the work of New York-based artist Joe Fig is trying to get at the truth of how contemporary art is made. Along with audio interviews with artists like Ryan McGinness, Chuck Close and Eric Fischl, he creates painstakingly detailed, perfectly scaled miniatures of their studios. His table sculptures series focuses specifically on painting tables—the space that the artists use to mix their paints and store their tools. Fig’s work has been compiled in the book Inside the Painter’s Studio, now in its fifth printing. Here he answers some questions about how the project got started and what he has learned over the course of it.
What motivated your interest to learn about, and then subsequently depict, artists’ workspaces? I’ve always been interested in other people and how they spend their days. People spend so much time at work, I’m curious about their day-to-day routines. After years of making art I was back at grad school and realized I’d been an artist for 10 years and that this was my profession. I wanted to get a better understanding of the real day-to-day practicalities of the life of the contemporary artist. I also thought that if I understood how other artists work and how they set up their studios, it would make me a better artist. What was behind the decision to render them in diorama form? I had been a painter, but I also had an interest in sculpture. By creating these sculptures in miniature it gives the viewer a sort of God’s eye or voyeuristic perspective, which is quite different from rendering something on a flat surface in paint. What’s your process for creating these sculptures, and how long does it take to build one? I start with a visit to an artist’s studio and then conduct a formal interview, which I record. I then photograph and measure everything in the studio. Armed with all this reference material I decide on the composition and size and just begin building. The time they take varies. From the initial interview to finality can take from three to six weeks. There are some romantic notions about how art gets made. Was part of the concept behind this work to show that being a successful artist is a job, one that requires a workspace and tools, much like other jobs? Exactly. And I found that the most successful artists were successful because they worked the hardest. It’s really no different than any other profession. Were most artists receptive to having their studios depicted? Did you encounter any instances of them wanting to preserve a sense of mystery? If the artist agreed to allow me into their studio they kind of gave up any mystery, as I would really pick through everything in their space. It is in the details that I find that the artist’s personality really comes out. I would make a concerted effort to investigate the corners of the studio, searching for any significant, and maybe forgotten, revealing items. Did you find that most artists felt positively towards their studios, or did they share the same dread or resentment that many people feel towards their offices or places of work? The artists I’ve interviewed, which have been over 60 so far, love their studios. There is no other place they’d rather be. If there was any thing they didn’t like, it was mostly the need for more space. Though there was one artist, Malcolm Morley, who mentioned how he gets stage fright sitting in front of a painting in progress and he needs to be coaxed into the studio, often by audio books or salsa music. In your research, did you come to see a connection between the condition that the art was made in and the art itself? Again it depends on the artist. Chuck Close says that once his back is to a room he can be anywhere. Though for James Siena, his work is directly impacted by the size of his study (small, and located in New York’s Chinatown). The area is condensed, his studio is condensed and his work is condensed. In visiting all these different artists’ studios, were you struck more by their commonalties or by what set each of them apart? Each artist is unique in that their work requires certain requirements (space, light, sound, no sound, a drawing section, a spray paint section, etc.), so each artist adapts a space to his own needs. In a way, it’s no different than a mechanics shop. You need the space and the right tools, and maybe some loud music. joefig.com
Spread 1: Depiction of Gregory Amenoff's workspace. Spread 2: Clockwise, depictions of the work spaces of Billy Sullivan, Karen Davie, Chuck Close and Inka Essenhigh.
Story: Caroline McCloskey Every time he’s in New York, designer Andreas Stavropoulos makes a point of stopping by the Noguchi Museum to admire the multi-disciplinarian artist’s work. “I’m inspired by the degree to which he was able to work in a lot of different media: landscape, architecture, sculpture. He was also an incredible collaborator with artists from many genres,” says Stavropoulos. But Stavropoulos might as well be talking about his own work, which runs the gamut from designing landscapes and interiors as a principal of XS Land in Berkeley to building aesthetically pleasing chicken coops and teaching design at Yestermorrow Design Build School in Vermont. A landscape architect by education (his MLA is from UC Berkeley) and trade, Stavropoulos was frustrated with the limitations conventional offices had on his profession. “I had this idea that I should be spending more time on the actual site, looking at the land and getting to know it in a way that’s different from ‘billable hours,’” he says. “There was a significant mental and physical difference between the office and the site, to the extent that I felt it was hampering creativity and morale.” In turn, he devised a plan, stripping and customizing an old Airstream and trailer to serve as his living and working spaces, tricking them out by hand with solar panels, Myfi, nontoxic paints and custom cabinetry. The mobility allows him to linger at sites and consider their rhythms in a way that occasional visits never could. The trailer has won national notice and inadvertently doubles as a portfolio piece: on the merits of his immaculate and thoughtful renovations, Stavropoulos has been hired to design the headquarters for Twilio in San Francisco. Stavropoulos’ appreciation for enduring craftsmanship dates back to childhood, when his family spent summers in a small village in Greece. “Running around these 8,000-year-old streets I experienced a tactile, rich and quality-built world that created a social atmosphere very different from what we typically have in this country,” he says. “It came from an era with different values, when the life expectancy of every project was forever.” As an undergraduate at Dartmouth, he began building things that engaged directly with the environment: a pair of snowshoes, a boat, and a teepee in which he took up residence during his senior year. “In retrospect, one of the reasons I was so happy was because that structure allowed the outside world to come in,” he says. “I could see exactly what time of day it was, what the trees were doing, if they had leaves, what the sky was like. It had a proximity, transparency and permeability that I really appreciated.” A pair of current projects illustrate Stavrapoulos’ philosophy of applying slow-design tactics to very different challenges. A landscape job on a site formerly occupied by the Southern Pacific railway trail will repurpose old basalt, steel and heavy timber into new elements like seating arbors and a seesaw made out of an old rail line. And for the Twilio gig, he’s collaborating with a local artisan to fabricate lighting out of salvaged phone equipment, a riff on the company’s telephone-web business. “I’m incredibly excited to show that the design skills I have aren’t limited to one particular medium,” Stavrapoulos says, pointing out that considerations like lighting and circulation are the same in both outdoor and interior projects. “It’s worthwhile to have expertise in one thing, but the fun is really in the learning of new things.” xs-land.com
Story: Caroline McCloskey Photography: Harold Koopman
In 2007, designer Jack Brandsma received a commission from a network of
young creatives called Nieuwe Garde (“New Guard”) eager to make use of the empty shop spaces in the Dutch city of Groningen. They remembered his work as a design student in the late 1990s, when Brandsma had devised a series of mobile crates that could both transport goods and act as temporary furnishings, a riff on the ancient nomadic caravan system. The group wanted him to take the
idea further. Brandsma set to work, elaborating on his designs with four new mobile prototypes and a collapsible wall partition that could instantly convert any location—abandoned factories, unused office buildings—into temporary
office quarters. Nieuwe Garde fell apart before they could produce the units, but Brandsma pursued the idea on his own, baptizing the project SpareSpace.
Brandsma, who’s trained as an interior architect and industrial designer, had already spent years thinking about temporary spaces, and had even lived in a few himself. While working for Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, he lived in a wooden mobile home with a year-round outdoor shower (very impressive, considering the Netherlands’ frigid winters). He’d also spent two years sailing on a converted freight ship, so he’d learned a few things about improvising a home with very few possessions. “I developed a passion for temporary living in abandoned spaces, based on the idea of indoor camping and inspired by the work of the great American artist Allan Wexler,” says Brandsma. “I felt an urge to reduce my possessions to the minimal and I started thinking about my basic needs.”
The SpareSpace system has social, economic and political implications as well. In Holland, says Brandsma, there are more than six million square meters of empty office space. SpareSpace aims to solve two problems at once, giving landlords the chance to fill the empty structures and young entrepreneurs access to a temporary, affordable workspace. To achieve this, he’s built a network of real estate agents and property owners, and became active in community relations. Brandsma lives what he preaches. His own SpareSpace studio and gallery setup is in a building slated for demolition. “The average time I spend in a building is four to five years, then I move to another building that has lost its function,” he says. He’s even been briefly arrested for the cause, when SpareSpace staged a guerilla action at the Piazza del Duomo, setting up a work unit on the public square.
The SpareSpace experiment is still just in the pilot phase, but considering the current global financial crisis and skyrocketing rents, its potential impact seems huge. “In general, it's not so easy to find a good working space that is also affordable,” says Brandsma. “For creatives who have just graduated, there's a huge gap between the academy and the real world. It's a universal problem.”
Gluekit at Installation 7: Video at Installation LA
Reigning Sound at Scion Garage Show in Austin, Texas
Sean Lyles and Guest at Installation 7: Video in Brooklyn, New York
Scion A/V Dance Truck at Scion A/V Poolside Party in Palm Springs, California
Guests at Scion Garage Show in Austin, Texas
GODDOLLARS at Scion A/V Presents: A Club Called Rhonda in Chicago, IL
Matt Goldman at Installation 7: Video at Installation LA
Fritz Helder of Azari & III at Scion A/V Poolside Party in Palm Springs, CA
Jeff Mills at Scion House Party in Los Angeles, California
Check out the interactive brochure for the brand new
2012 Scion iQ
Featuring contributions from artists including:
Sage Vaughn Neil Krug FrankI Chan AnA Serrano Blu Jemz & Unemployed Lloyd Evelyn Lee & Municipal Waste
The London Police at Installation 7: Video at Installation LA
Souther Salazar at Installation 7: Video at Installation LA
Wormrot at Scion Rock Fest in Pomona, California
So-Me at The Big Idea at Installation LA
Justin Hampton at the 11:11 opening at Installation LA
SSUR at Installation 7: Video at Installation LA
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