American Design Hot List 2017
Carly Jo Morgan
Los Angeles, carlyjomorgan.com
We featured Carly Jo Morgan on our Hot List two years ago, when she was working with her former husband on Only Love Is Real. Now solo, Morgan’s work meditates on specific materials — terrazzo, brass — and concepts, like spirituality and rebirth.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
America is in an interesting exploratory space. Since the presidential election, so many of us have been in deep mourning. It feels as though America has experienced a death. But with every death comes a rebirth. I think design is being challenged with an existential crisis. We have to keep asking ourselves, for the cost of what? I’m not sure what my work will evolve into, but I’m experiencing a strong call to action and am committed to making conscious decisions and enjoying the process. Positive shifts are happening. The devastating effects of mass production on the environment are pushing us to explore sustainability, craftsmanship, durability, and deeper meaning. There’s also an urgency for community, and I really feel the design community is coming together to promote one another and share ideas.
What are your plans for the upcoming year?
I’m planning to stop always planning ;). Currently working on: sourcing recycled crushed cement and marble from demolition sites for new terrazzo snakes, furniture for the women of The Wing in New York for their two new locations, painting, being the best mama I can be.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
Current Inspirations: Morning meditations. My daughter’s artwork. Snakes and the idea that we can transmute any poisons into medicine and shed the skins of the past. The ecstatic music of Alice Coltrane and her commitment to healing others with her art. Eagle Rock, Topanga. Krista Tippet’s On Being Podcast.