American Design Hot List 2016
Saint Augustine, Florida, yielddesign.co
The most beautiful designs are rarely the most accessible and affordable, but that’s where the magic of Yield lies: They make planters and housewares — and as of late, furniture and lighting — that we not only want to live with, but actually can.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
The beauty of American design is that our country’s vast diversity summons the design scene to be refined, yet widely varied. From our perspective, American design is the intersection of cultures and crafts representative of a global society. America is historically known for its industrial prowess, and American design’s craft and ingenuity is rooted in our manufacturing heritage, but it’s begun to move beyond just a manufacturing story. The fact that so many cultures and perspectives collide here results in a refined approach that blends craft and experimentation with an eye towards fine-tuned function and purpose. American design is a melting pot that can be playful yet structured, abstract yet purposeful; it’s not required to speak to one specific person or group of people because there’s always an audience to be discovered.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
With the addition of furniture to our collection and more furnishings to come, we plan to engage in more holistic interiors work. Renovating our personal home over the last year has been a major source of inspiration and new ideas. This coming year we have our sights set on building a new guest house from the ground up, and we intend to use it as a sort of testing ground for new pieces. Since we won’t have the pressure of needing to live in it right away, we see it as an opportunity for more fluid experimentation.
What inspires/informs your work in general?
We’ve always relied heavily on traveling and frequently getting outside of the studio to get inspired. This year has been a little different. There’s no sugar coating it, it has been difficult. We’ve encountered some personal tragedies that have kept us lying low, and as a result, we’ve had to dig more deeply within for inspiration. So this year our work has been the result of a more introspective take on our own design. As a company, we’ve also been able to observe our products in the world for a couple of years now. We’ve become inspired by various manufacturers and our close relationships with them in seeing how certain materials accentuate the beauty of the design. This year we’ve leaned into metalworking, ceramics, and glass. All of these are materials that begin somewhat fluid and finish in a very solid, fixed state. Their nature leads to work with an allowance for high customization, a wide variety of finishes, transparencies, and layering, and a final form that remains durable and rigid.