American Design Hot List 2014
With its pops of electric blue and its incredible use of mixed materials, Syrette Lew’s debut furniture collection was among the happiest we’ve seen in years.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
I would say the best way to describe American design is that it’s heterogeneous. Yes, there are pockets of homogeneity but American culture and society is a polyethnic one so there are many styles, movements, ideas being exchanged and mashed up here which is why I find it hard to make generalizations. America also has the advantage of being a relatively young country so our traditions are not as deeply rooted as compared to some other countries. So, if you’re looking to defy convention then this is where you want to be! Who doesn’t find that exciting?
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
Moving Mountains is excited to announce that we will be joining the Colony showroom this month, which has an outstanding roster: Assembly, Egg Collective, Meg Callahan, and Vonnegut/Kraft to name a few. This will mean that we’ll have a physical presence in Manhattan and select pieces can finally be viewed in person.
I’ve also recently worked on some design-related projects like the Sight Unseen pop-up shop build-out as well as proposals for public art pieces, so I’m looking forward to more opportunities outside of furniture design.
My biggest plan, however, is to focus on growing the business. It’s been a whirlwind couple of months and I feel like my participation in this year’s ICFF in May was strangely like a debutante ball, though I’ve never been to one. I put on my best dress (well, I wore outfits that color-coordinated with my booth), showed off my assets (furniture), and danced with every prospective suitor that came my way (chit-chatted with press, designers, fabricators, retailers, miscellaneous businesses). As a result, some great and different types of opportunities have presented themselves but it’s too soon to say what will pan out yet — so stay tuned!
What inspires your work in general?
My instinct is to make things comfortable and functional so I derive a lot of satisfaction from designing something that people will want to use and enjoy using it. The collection I just debuted at this year’s ICFF and Sight Unseen OFFSITE came out of a very practical question. “What kind of furniture would I want in my home?” I was essentially designing for myself which is the most natural and honest way to go about it. More recently, though, I’ve been interested in designing less functional pieces or loosening the parameters. Not because I think function is any less important than form but because it’s a challenge for me and a strange, new territory to be in.