Can you explain a little bit about the type of work you do at Cooper-Hewitt?
Sure, it is part Buyer, part Creative Direction, part Product Development. On a daily basis I look for great products for the museum’s store. I also work with young designers and custom manufacturers who make pieces especially for us. Additionally, I direct the look and feel of the website, the products and the 'brand'. On the less fun side, I do data entry into a database.
What was your background before coming to Cooper-Hewitt?
Before I joined the staff at Cooper-Hewitt, I was the Creative Director at Fab.com, and at Kidrobot, both of which were heavily product oriented jobs. While at those positions I was responsible for similar things to those mentioned above, plus I designed the products we sold. Way back in time I was Product Manager at Moss and learned a great deal from Murray Moss about retail, product, and life.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
That I get to talk to exciting and creative people all day about objects. Some days it is a well-established name, others it is a fresh face. Both are equally exciting and stimulating to me.
What was the most memorable moment for you at Cooper-Hewitt?
Although I haven't been here for a long time, one of my favorite experiences so far was meeting Rosanna Orlandi in Miami finally, and having her give director Caroline Baumann and me an amazing tour of her booth at DesignMiami/. She is a true inspiration and an amazing woman.
How has the renovation either opened new doors or posed new challenges for you?
It has definitely done both. It has been amazing experience working with the architects who are designing the new store. They have been very responsive and receptive to my ideas, and the process of creating this space through collaborative exchange has been a great experience. Conversely, like any renovation of a century old building, there have been challenges and surprises.
Do you have a favorite designer or design era?
A few – always have been a huge fan of Enzo Mari, but I also live with and probably own more work by Achille Castiglioni than any other designer. I like the earnest quality and nod to anonymity in both of their works, which were created in the mid-60s. But my favorite single design object is the Ultima Thule design of glassware by Tapio Wirkkala. I have used them daily for over 15 years now.
What’s the last exhibition/book/movie/city that left a lasting impression on you?
The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson, always a huge fan of all his films (the whole retail team here is).
What are your interests/hobbies outside of the museum/design world?
I collect a lot of music. I have had thousands of records in my life, and after a recent tragic loss of many, I am now rebuilding my collection of key ones.
Finally, if you could redesign anything, what would it be?
The automobile. In my opinion, this one of the best inventions that has gone wrong. Cars now get the same gas mileage as a car I had 20 years ago. That doesn't make much sense. Also, they have all gotten really funny looking and non-descript from brand to brand, they could use a nice overhaul design wise, eco wise, etc. This would be followed closely by air travel, such a romantic and amazing technology that is now surpassed in luxury by a public bus. I understand all the problematic issues here, but it is still a shame, and could use a good re-boot.