American Design Hot List 2016
Los Angeles, ouli.us
What began as a store in L.A.’s Echo Park has evolved into the solo design practice of Brooke Intrachat, whose work has also evolved — from easy-to-produce accessories into full-blown, gallery-level, sculptural furniture.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
I think American design is reinvention, innovation, acceptance, and a no-holds-barred mentality. And I think American design is often none of, or half-heartedly, or some of these things. That’s what excites me about it — not a single, tidy definition suffices. For me it’s mutable. It’s all the good and all the bad and it’s OUT THERE.
In the same vein, I think many designers and artists are embracing the exploratory space between fixed definitions of art and design. Furniture is sculpture is product is object. At its best, American design is re-evaluating our culturally held beliefs about value and worth, and that’s endlessly exciting.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
A number of private commissions and a dream project (that I can’t yet talk about) will be wrapping up in 2017. I’m super excited to see the works materialized! My most recent collection of furniture — created for Arborite at Sight Unseen OFFSITE in May — was very sculptural, and I’m looking forward to further exploring furniture as sculpture, and vice versa. I think the schism between the two is often imagined.
What inspires/informs your work in general?
It’s all about feeling. Aesthetics and the visual deeply affect how I feel — both emotionally and physically — and how I think most people feel, whether they know it or not. I’ve often felt most happy and most alive just through looking. Looking at a salad spoon or a very old, hand-whittled stick, for example; something that makes me feel something. I find inspiration here, and even more in re-configuring and referencing. The same goes for beautiful art and design. I love looking through books of artists and designers whose work excites me. It’s that excitement that really inspires. I also have to point to a large amount of mistakes. I often mis-see things, almost like visual dyslexia. I’ll catch small glimpses of imagined things or see an object “incorrectly.” These visual mistakes end up being extremely informative.