American Design Hot List 2019
Los Angeles, bellibellibelli.com
Ryan Belli’s debut collection this year — whose centerpiece was a series of chairs and sofas that looked like childrens’ drawings writ large — had a delightful weirdness about it. Not unlike the kind associated with his longtime employers, the Haas Brothers, yet also unlike anything we’d seen before.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
American design right now is incredibly fun, almost lawless. Everything is open to interpretation. Design in general feels very exciting — it seems as though it’s in a sort of Wild West period where people are free to explore all avenues. I have an urge to interpret everything I see and I don’t get the feeling my path needs to narrow. Definitions are loosening on the design of everyday objects, which leaves room to dream up how you want to live and what you want to be surrounded by on a daily basis.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
Lots of experimentation with materials, shapes, colors, techniques. Exploring new objects and trying to understand and develop my ideal version of each. I moved into a new space and I’m really thinking a lot about my ideal living situation. Everything deserves consideration, and I’m finding inspiration everywhere. New spaces offer up a lot of questions, and I plan on spending a lot of time coming up with ways to satisfy my curiosities.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
Travel, going for walks, working with different materials… It’s a bit too cliche, but I really do trust in taking time to smell the flowers’ — long looks at anything that catches my eye. Texture intersections, shadows — following anything that sticks in my mind and trying to figure out what it is that captivates me. Wondering what things could be is my favorite pastime, and I’m seeing more opportunities for exploration at every turn.