American Design Hot List 2020
Providence, Rhode Island, serrastudio.com
In a year where paper pulp was the “it” material in the furniture world, Mike Ruiz-Serra was our favorite new homegrown discovery (so much so that we put him in our 1stdibs store). Whereas some of his pulp-obsessed peers lean more towards the artfully weird and misshapen, the RISD grad keeps things smooth, elemental, and chic. Plus, he’s committed to only using non-toxic ingredients and natural dyes.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
American design is characterized by a profound sense of optimism and ambition. At its best it breeds self-sufficient designers who have a great level of control over their output. At its worst it creates a material culture rooted in overconsumption and trend-chasing.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
As of now I’m exploring some new materials and processes. I’m not trying to rush anything though. I have some exciting new work coming out soon, and I’m looking forward to moving back to New York in May.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
Growing up on the internet and knowing how to navigate it has played a big role in my practice. I enjoy using the internet mainly as a source for information, and not necessarily as an outlet for my work to be experienced. Although my work is largely inspired by information from the internet, I try to keep things tethered to reality by sticking to handmade processes and incorporating organic textures that are best experienced in person.