I believe the mark of a great designer is one who can use the tools at their disposal to create a style conversation on many levels. This explicit injection of form, color, and function provides a space for the more subtle references celebrating the kaleidoscopic elements of culture. In this week's episode of Design Star I am proud to share a bit of inspiration from Danielle Colding's lounge as it features the graphic work of Paul Colin. A luminary of the Jazz AgeMr. Colin effectively shaped the sophisticated image that we attribute to this time period. In addition to the full episode of Design Star, a few images of his work are below.
p.s. Please "LIKE" Danielle's professional page using the following LINK -
Today I was waxing poetic about the challenges we all face at one point or another- love transitions, professional shifts, the movement of grief- and got a tremendously inspiring message from member of the staff at school. Mo often provides a dose of common sense in this space of heady intellectualism. I thought it appropriate to share an interpretation of her anecdote...
Life is a pot of boiling water.
It's inhabitants are three types: The Hard Boiled Egg, The Potato and The Teabag.
The Hard Boiled Egg becomes rigid inside, a delicate shell protecting a self that has stagnated solid.
Meanwhile, The Potato is bubbled to mush, softening the longer it stays in the game.
And finally there is The Teabag. By nature it changes the environment, altering the aquatic by simply sharing the being of itself.
- Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
I am often perplexed by the extremely conservative stance that the black community has employed when addressing gay rights issues. Especially since discrimination is a mechan(ism) that doesn't discriminate - women, men, children, poor people, old people, immigrants, people with differing physical/mental abilities, transgendered people can all find themselves on the short end of the privilege stick. A joining of forces seems like the best way to approach revolutionary thought. But what do I know? I'm just a poor, black, female artist one year away from zero healthcare...
Nigga | Cracka | Bitch | Pimp | Bim | Whoomp | Off the chain | Out of pocket | Lawd. Have. And Mercy. | Cray | Werk | White (also: Whitey White) | Black (also: Bliggity Black)
All of these words/phrases regularly find their way into every level of my conversation. This is not to say that they are always introduced by way of tourettetic punctuation, but I decided about 4 years ago that I would ween myself from the rampant code switching that appears to be a prerequisite for dialogues with white people. This clarity continues to be solidified whenever someone, especially those who self identify as black, whisper the word "white" in mixed company. It's ridiculous, this hijacking of language and I aim to resist the convention whenever possible. Freedom of expression is an important part of my personage, and although I routinely omit profanity from my conversations with elders, this is a choice that I make out of deference to our specific relationship, rather than an imposition that serves to rule general modes of behavior. Case in point: One of my colleagues, who is not American, sought to understand the word "cracker" beyond its snack food definition. Of course being an expert on the subject, I schooled her proper, and, in the process offended another colleague, who happens to be both American (United Statesian?) and a self identified white person. Now, true colleagueship is important to me and that means revealing my true self. Not a Kenya reserved for certain identity groups, but one that feels closest to my intentions. My intention is always to share, to learn, to grow and I've found that an environment of untruth is not a healthy space to foster this kind of exchange. But back to the story - the self-identified white person got so uncomfortable by this discussion that she was compelled to leave the conversation, and this was only at the description of the word cracker and it's multiple etymologies. After her departure I realized that any attempts at self censure would be unsuccessful. As a peer, there is no reason why I would assign a hierarchy to our relationship and to submit to a change in my speech would support a specter of white privilege that I strive to dis-empower. But, real talk? I thought mostly about the previous night we spent dancing, recalling the enthusiasm with which we all (black, white, latino, asian and every identifier beyond and between) rocked out to "Niggas In Paris". Apparently righteous indignation does not apply to something with a good beat that you can dance to...
About five years ago I met the amazingly creative Danielle Colding at an independent clothing boutique called Addy & Ferro in Brooklyn. I was working there temporarily, as my freelance gigs in the apparel industry were down-cycling. I strongly believe in creating your own opportunities, so I pitched my graphic design skills to her, as she was just launching the the first iteration of her interior design firm DANIELLE COLDING DESIGN. I am fortunate enough to know her still and am eternally grateful for her compassion during an extremely difficult period in my life. More than a colleague, she continues to inspire me with her sense of contemporary sophistication and her personal livity of sharing. I plan to make my way to someone's cable television, but in the meantime I can support her work by posting the full episodes of her latest adventure on HGTV's Design Star.
Be wonderful, D.
p.s. Mark my words, one of these days I WILL have the resources to work with Danielle on my own livespace...