My brain is always running full-tilt, rock-and-roll, psychedelic overdrive, Fuzzface on 11…and most often cynical and self-critical to a fault. I’ve discovered that much of what I read and look at and enjoy living within is the antithesis of loud and noisy and visually stimulating. I require a place and a space where my eyes are not encumbered with visual graffiti. When my field of vision is not cluttered, my noisy brain has more room to breathe. I can find a moment to relax. Meditation becomes possible. There’s an opportunity to be less self-critical and more forgiving. It’s no mistake that much of what I surround myself with—including the home I live in—exemplifies those types of places and spaces. My mind—and my heart—crave them.
Dieter Rams: As Little Design as Possible
SOPHIE LOVELL AND KLAUS KEMP
Dieter Rams is arguably the most prolific product designer of the 20th Century. His timeless range of appliances and household goods are exemplary for their consistently utilitarian-yet-
Magazine Stacks: Dwell, Architectural Digest, Atomic Ranch, GQ Style, Rolling Stone, and PATTERN
Honestly, many of these magazines are barely read. I see them neatly stacked and know they’re there. I occasionally grab the newest one off the pile, looking for inspiration. I sometimes use these publications as resources for descriptive copy for my real estate marketing, for an idea for a new outfit for a PATTERN party, or to merely window shop for my dream apartment in Manhattan or Los Angeles.
Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House
DANEIL P. GREGORY AND JOE FLETCHER
Cliff May certainly didn’t invent the Ranch House, but I believe that he’s among a small handful of designers and architects that perfected the form. Bringing the outside in, no room more than a few steps from connection to nature.
Bauhaus: Weimar, Dessau, Berlin, Chicago
A veritable brain dump from the most significant collection of artists, architects, designers, and educators of pre-WWII Europe. It’s breathtaking in breadth and depth.
How to See: Visual Adventures in a World God Never Made
GEORGE NELSON AND MICHAEL BIERUT
It’s easy to look at things. Actually ‘seeing’ things is an entirely different conversation. I find this book helpful in learning the language of art, design, architecture, and criticism.
One of my happy places is witnessing live music. I have several of Jay’s books, but this is my favorite. Luscious photos of some of my favorite acts, taken by a photographer who’s shot the best of the best.
The world lost an inspired voice when the female, Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid passed away unexpectedly in 2016. Her organic, fluid forms challenge the rules, defy gravity, and inspire awe.
Neutra: Complete Works
Richard Neutra, born in Austria, made a permanent mark on American post-war architecture. His modern style (like Cliff May’s above) was enhanced by his California location. Sleek, modern walls of glass with deep overhangs protected interiors from the harsh sun, but offered connectivity to the outdoors year-round. Having lived my entire life in Indiana, I am struck by the wonderful idea of not having to worry about a glass wall frosting over in February.