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Howl: Issue 01

April 15, 2021

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An artist who expresses himself through quilting, revelations about a groundbreaking Soviet design school that rivaled the Bauhaus in Modern curricula, and an optimistic check-in with West Coast interior designer Primo Orpilla… these stories are among the featured content of our first newsletter, titled Howl. Curated by design journalist Paul Makovsky, Howl will be sent out to our clients on a quarterly basis and archived on our website. The project as a whole seeks to be a service to our community, engaging with two basic questions that impact both Wolf-Gordon’s creatives and our interior design audience: what inspires us in fields parallel to interior design and which global phenomena influence our design practices? We expect Howl to evolve with each issue and hope it will contribute to your excitement about the creative and impactful industry we work in.

Issue 1 (Q2 2021) contains three features:

  • “Piecing Together a Legacy”, an article by Belinda Lanks on the conceptual quilting of Michael C. Thorpe, a Brooklyn-based artist who explores identity, race and American pop culture through exquisite craft that he raises to high art;
  • “Learning from the Russian Avant Garde”, an interview of art and design historian Anna Bokov on the occasion of the publishing of her book on Vkhutemas, a highly influential counterpart to the Bauhaus that led social theory-infused, multidisciplinary design education in the Soviet Union from 1920 to 1930; and,
  • “On the Radar: Primo Orpilla”, in which Paul Makovsky takes the opportunity to discuss design during and post-pandemic, the exciting “toolkit” that O+A has developed to navigate the future of office design, and life in Los Angeles.
  • Howl continues with a section called “Space/Pattern/Texture” which profiles three designer-artists who are doing provocative work in graphic art, textile art and painting.

A quick Collection Spotlight puts the focus on three of our products that feel particularly relevant right now: an upholstery textile that translates the natural structure of wood at the cellular level; a fantastic new PVC-free type II wallcovering inspired by tree bark; and, a digital print design that reinterprets waterlilies.

Finally, we wanted to help wade through the abundance of exhibitions, lectures, podcasts and other online resources by identifying five of our favorites. From fashion photography to textiles and the relationship of art to technology, this issue’s favorites are listed with links to their sources.

Feedback and suggestions for future content can be addressed to [email protected].