I have been dribbling over WORKSTEAD’s output for quite a while now so was incredibly delighted when Stephanie of the Workstead gang responded when asked if the company would like to be involved in ‘The Makers’ Q&A section of the blog.
I first came across their work when I spotted a kitchen they had made in collaboration with Bartenschlager Woodwork ... But if you are unfamiliar with their beautiful work go explore their site ... Enjoy the Q&A!
How important do you think your working and home environment are to you? ... for example is the work you make reflected in your personal space?
Our home and the objects that we surround ourselves with are often a source of our inspiration. Our products, like the 3 Arm Chandelier and the desk were designed to satisfy a personal or work-related need. We often find ourselves looking to familiar objects for insight and find that these objects subtly appear in our work for others.
Form, function or fantasy?
Function informs form but doesn’t solely define it. I’d say that our products are elemental, infinitely adjustable and timeless. Our design work is modern, rich in materials and efficient.
What do you think has informed your personal aesthetic?
Rhode Island School of Design.
Do you have a project that was a turning point in finding your creative path?
Yes, our first project was the Sliding Kitchen. Robert and I worked on this during nights and weekends before starting Workstead. The project was published in Dwell and gave us the momentum and confidence we needed to launch our company.
Do you have a dream project or client?
To be hired for your aesthetic and to be trusted by a client to complete your vision for them is a dream project.
How important is collaboration to you?
We work in a very collaborative atmosphere. We rely on each other for support every day and meet together to strategize and to invent new ideas. All three of us, Robert (who is also my husband) and Ryan are cut from the same RISD cloth. Luckily our shared background gives us a solid base to design.
What is your opinion on taste and style?
Taste is a feeling of knowing when something is right or wrong aesthetically. It’s hard to explain or teach. Style is dangerous. It can quickly be a fad or a gimmick. We don’t really keep up with the latest design / architecture magazines. I think sometimes being too immersed can taint your own vision.
Are you interested in trends in your field?
Where is your favourite place to be?
Right now Gallatin, New York.
WORKSTEAD is a New York based design firm, founded in 2009 by Stephanie Brechbueler and Robert Andrew Highsmith. Their storefront office is located in Brooklyn, where they focus on architectural and interior design, lighting, furniture, and exhibitions. Like the company itself, the storefront is a framework for the highly tailored body of work they seek to create. Their aim to design responsible works that create a sense of place for both the objects they contain and the people that experience them. While at home in Brooklyn, WORKSTEAD currently has projects in New York City, Bridgehampton, Upstate New York, Connecticut, and Colorado. Their lighting is sold at Specific Merchandise in Los Angeles, Modern Anthology in DUMBO, and online at shopHORNE. Installations of their work can be found at the Barneys COOP in Brooklyn and in private residences all over the world.