is a New York City based design studio with Lauren Larson and Christian Lopez Swafford at the helm. The pair met while in school at Parsons School of Design and related to the fact that they were both brought up by mothers who were both painters, raising them with a solid arts foundation since childhood. Both are self-proclaimed “artists masquerading as designers” who sometimes lean towards a more thought-provoking and provocative aesthetic. They call it Oppressionism, “for the combination of heavy-handed theatrics, high design and its exploitation of uncomfortable and often pornographic imagery.” We call it awesome (check out their work we recently featured here). For this week’s Friday Five, the duo shares with us five sources of inspiration.
An example of a fantastic designer taking a strong vision and concept and turning it into beautiful, high-quality work. Zana Bayne’s designs have a “no compromises, no dumbing down, fully refined” attitude that we can’t help but to admire.
2. Carl Auböck
We fetishize metal objects and there is no finer combination of craftsmanship, history and modern design then Carl Auböck. While working in his father’s workshop in the 1920s, he went to get a design education at the Bauhaus. He returned to the workshop with his new perspective on design and created some of the most covetable pieces imaginable. You can find many blatant copies of Auböck’s work but none measure up to the perfect proportions of the originals.
Visual Artist/Tattoo Artist Tamara Santibañez is one of the coolest people in NYC. Her work has references to Punk, Metal, Occult, Bondage, Biker, and Chicano cultures, just to name a few. This type of work is always in danger of becoming “camp” but Santibañez uses a refined filter cultivated from her extensive Art and Design education to elevate her work to another level. Santibañez actually lives the lifestyle of the work she creates and that empowers us to do the same.
4. The Industrial Music Scene in L.A.
We are interested in all sub-cultures and how they begin and thrive. One that is happening now in L.A. is the renewed interest and experimentation with industrial music. Bands like and Youth Code are reviving a scene that had become bogged down by formulaic bands seeking underground success. “I am going to do what I love and let the chips fall where they may” is what we imagine these bands saying to themselves while creating their calculated visuals and sound.
This is a husband and wife team that know how to work together. Their work has a refined elegance and maturity that comes from being peers of Brâncuși, Max Ernst, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp. Les Lalanne blurs the boundary of Art and Design by creating beautiful pieces that do not ignore functionality.