American Design Hot List 2019
New York, ianfeltonstudio.com
Ian Felton is one of that rare breed who seem to emerge from design school fully formed and ready to take on the world, so assured and sophisticated was his debut, which launched at Michael Bargo’s gallery this fall (an imprimatur of cool if we’ve ever seen one). In reality, Felton spent more than a year just thinking about and researching his Kosa collection before starting work on it, imbuing each beautiful piece with a clear sense of narrative and history.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
I think what’s so exciting about American design is that we’re still such a young/diverse culture comparatively speaking. I hate to be cliché, but there’s such a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, in New York especially. Albeit, we’re a capitalist economy so creation is driven by need, trend, and demand, but there’s such a vast and supportive market for artists and creatives so the burdens for abiding by the rules or cultural/historic normalcies sort of fall away — and people see the truth behind that.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
I’ll be presenting all new works at an offsite show during Milan Design week with a small new gallery. Hopefully, I’ll be debuting these works with a new materiality I’ve been developing for the past year or so. Other than that, I have a few small interior design projects actually — one residential apartment in Madrid with my partner in crime Valerie Name (an interior designer) and maybe a few other interiors, and obviously developing more new work!
What inspires or informs your work in general?
This first collection took a lot of reference from Pre-Columbian artifacts, but I think more broadly I’m fascinated with anthropology. I’m quite new ‘to the scene’ I guess you could say but I think I’ll continue to find inspiration in antiquity. As a species, we’ve been so fixated on mass consumption and rapid progression beyond consequence, I think there’s definitely something to be said about looking into the annals of human creation back when we were more connected to environment and storytelling.