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Look Book Designers Interviews, 2020

Look Book Designers Interviews, 2020

WantedDesign exhibitors have always counted meeting other designers and studios as a significant benefit of taking part in the trade fairs. Though the WantedDesign Manhattan show scheduled for May 2020 was cancelled, some of the North American studios selected for our Look Book program, presented with Dwell magazine, took the initiative of getting to know each other through a series of lively and informal interviews.

We’re pleased to share some of their interview highlights, with the designers talking about their processes and practices. Get to know these talented design studios, in their own words.


JG Switzer (San Francisco, CA) interviewed by Nottene (Philadelphia, PA)

Illustration by Nottene

Kim of Philadelphia, PA-based Nottene says, “On a hot Friday night we got online with Jessica, the force behind a 7 ton needle felting machine that makes fabric from the wool of her heirloom sheep. JG Switzer makes wool blankets and pillows, and for Look Book they are showing an upholstery fabric that was developed collaboratively with Studio Ahead. We chatted over Zoom, as one does these days, and asked what she can tell us about her work that we can’t see from the pictures. And that led us to the SHEEP!”

Illustration by Nottene

“Heirloom sheep are a passion of hers, she has an 8-acre farm in California and that is what lead to her rediscovery of an old material (wool!). We love old stuff in our studio too, so we felt very much in sync with Jessica’s mission & spirit.”

Read the full interview on Nottene’s blog or on Instagram @nottene


J McDonald interviewed by Harold (both of Brooklyn, NY)

“I think there’s a danger of creating work you think will be used and assume will be functional. But then it leaves your studio and goes somewhere and you really have no idea what its life is. Or if the person who now owns it really uses it, really interacts with it, in what ways do they? In ways you expected? Didn’t expect? I do think it’s useful in both a functional and formal aspect to actually live with these things before someone else does.” – J McDonald

Cocoon Armoire by J McDonald

Learn more about Harold at www.haroldharold.com and J McDonald at www.studiojmcdonald.com


Crosland and Emmons (Atlanta, GA) interviewed by James Dieter (Brooklyn, NY)

Crosland and Emmons

“Achieving perfection seems boring and expected – uninteresting. What we love about sculpture or paintings is that in 100 years one can still see the marks of the artist, still see their intentions for the piece. We want our work to show our intention of the balance between beauty and the utilitarian need for light. Life is not perfect, and it is ok to have imperfections in ourselves as well as our work. Imperfections are individual and makes us who we are.” – Crosland and Emmons

Learn more about Crosland and Emmons at www.croslandandemmons.com


Simon Johns (East-Boulton, QC, Canada) interviewed by Artish (Raleigh, NC)

“Some of his first pieces were the Missisquoi collection named after the river on his land. He used found stones from that river, and then let the geometry of those stones dictate the composition of the final piece of furniture.” – Artish, on Simon Johns

Watch the full interview and studio tour on the Artish Studio blo


Nottene (Philadelphia, PA) interviewed by Lios Design (Cambridge, MA)

“When you sell wallpaper, people want to talk about wallpaper. People want to remember when they were little, or how their parents fought about wallpaper, or want to talk about their grandmother’s wallpaper or the wallpaper that they used to fall asleep in front of. It’s so much more than “Do these colors match my couch?” – Nottene

Read more of the interview on Instagram @liosdesign


James Dieter (Brooklyn, NY) interviewed by Indo- (Providence, RI)

“I got into lighting after eight years of working in special effects model shops in NYC. In 2001 I started dform, which is a line of lighting and screens made from textural interlocking wood veneer forms. After fourteen years I was feeling the need to free myself a bit from that type of structure. The first [James Dieter] piece was pina, using an aluminum construction method from the dform screens. I turned attention to the tetrahedron chain concept for the next four (mobi, meta, kite, and ketta) and these were a more pointed departure.” – James Dieter

Learn more about lighting designer James Dieter on Instagram @jamesdieter and jamesdieter.co


Mool (Mexico) interviewed by Crosland and Emmons (Atlanta, GA)

“We like to use color in our furniture to make a statement. Experimenting with concepts, shapes and materials is one of our ways to project our passion for design. With this, and many other elements, we seek to celebrate life and show purity in our creations.” – Mool

“We are trying to understand better the emotional relationship between the people and furniture and how the interaction could make you feel better.” – Mool

Find Mool on Instagram @mool.mx


Sunshine Thacker (San Antonio, TX) interviewed by J McDonald (Brooklyn, NY)

J McDonald asked fellow Look Book designer Sunshine Thacker, “What draws you to the design world, and specifically to large-scale ceramics?”

She answered: “First; the act of creating.  It’s central to my purpose as a human.  There is a real satisfaction in starting the day with a lump of dirt and at the end of the day seeing something I thought of formed from it.  In reality though, it takes several days to make a large-scale piece.  There is a primal quality to clay that draws me in.   The smell of humid earth, it’s malleability,  that it can take nearly any form.  Regarding building at a large scale – that is purely about the personal challenge.  I am always pushing myself.  The bigger you get with clay the better the technician you have to be.  The risk is greater – but so is the reward.”

Learn more about Sunshine Thacker at www.sunshinethacker.com


Learn more about and download the catalogs for all of WantedDesign’s Look Book designers over the years.