Filmmaker Eric Bricker made his directorial debut with Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman,” the award-winning documentary film about the life and work of the acclaimed photographer, narrated by Dustin Hoffman (juliusshulmanfilm.com). Bricker is currently working on his next project, What If…? How Geeks and Gamers Will Save the World, which consists of a feature-length film and a social game launched via Facebook. Having moved to Austin in 2008, he is truly grateful to be a part of such a dynamic, supportive city and creative community.
Zach Frechette is editor in chief of the award-winning GOOD, a collaboration of individuals, businesses and nonprofits driving change in the world. He recently led the transition of GOOD from an editorially led magazine to a community-based web platform at the intersection of creativity and impact. Read more at good.is and twitter.com/ztf.
Annie Choi is the author of Happy Birthday or Whatever (HarperCollins) and her work has appeared in Abitare, Pidgin, Publisher’s Weekly and Women’s Health, among others. Her open letters about design and chairs can be found on Emeco’s website. She received an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, where she currently serves as adjunct faculty. She lives in New York City, in a 187-square-foot apartment. You can read her blog at annietown.com.
In 1997, I moved to Los Angeles. I was completely inspired by the incredible art around the city. Near the end of 1998, I found an image of a Prozac pill that I blew up on a photocopier. I originally put the word “smile” underneath. But something was different about this image. It resonated with me in a way the other images had not. The pill had the dosage “20mg” written on it. I focused on that, emphasized the dosage and edited out any other text from the image. I decided to write “Visual Narcotics” under it and boom! It was born. From 1999 to the present, I’ve worked under the name “20mg” referring to my work as “Visual Narcotics” (20mg.com). But to me, “Visual Narcotics” also refers to the endless bombardment of images and information that we as a society are confronted with daily by the conventional mass media. So most of my work is meant to draw attention to the absurdities that are propagated by the media.
An Oregon native, Peter Kallen is design director for Nau (pronounced “now”), a clothing company that makes sustainable urban and outdoor apparel for the modern mobile life. Previously, Kallen worked at Nike, had his own snowboard company, was owner/creator of an urban garden store, and launched a fashion brand in Japan under his own name. Not one to sit pretty for long, Kallen also owns ThinkBomb Design Laboratory, where he designs for a variety of companies ranging from sport to fashion, and interior to industrial design. His strong love of the outdoors has him frequently venturing into the depths of nature on a variety of self-propelled devices.
James Victore is a self-taught designer known for his brilliant and innovative design work. He is currently a professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York and has won countless design awards including the Grand Prix from the Brno Biennele (Czech Republic). He is a popular lecturer around the world and has been the subject of many exhibitions—his most recent in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Victore’s work can be found online at jamesvictore.com and moma.org. His monograph Victore, or Who Died and Made You Boss? was published by Abrams in 2010.
Joel Petersen lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and plays bass and guitar in The Faint (thefaint.com) since 1995. He also creates music under the name Broken Spindles, which he began doing in 2001 on a soundtrack for a friend’s film and developed further in between touring with The Faint. On the design side, he just learned of the font Univers: “Who knew one could be impressed by a font? Simple, specific, strong, clean, deliberate, inspired and inspiring.”
Carl Alviani carlalvani.com is a writer, editor and researcher at a design consultancy in Portland, Oregon called Ziba. He has a background in industrial design, education and engineering. Carl has lived and worked in Portland since 2006, and developed an interest in bicycles, beer, urban planning and seasonal produce, as Portlanders tend to.
Jaime Derringer is founder and editor of modern design sites Design Milk (design-milk.com) and Dog Milk (dog-milk.com). Her flagship site, Design Milk, began as a collection of her favorite internet finds, and soon branched out beyond home decor to art, architecture, and technology. Dog Milk is Design Milk’s little sister that focuses on modern dog product design.
Photographer, filmmaker and America’s Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker (nigelbarker.tv) attended the 111 Navy Chair party in New York. He recently released a new book, Nigel Barker’s Beauty Equation, which is inspired by his desire to “help us all see beauty by being beautiful ourselves.” He lives in New York with his wife Crissy and their progeny, Jack and Jasmine.
When Reginald Baylor left University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh just shy of earning a degree in fine art, he was a long way from becoming the pop art sensation he is today. In fact, his professors were encouraging him to pursue a career in commercial art. Baylor spent a few years at the Laguna Beach Art Museum and Newport Beach Art Museum installing other more famous artists’ work. Then he moved his family to the Midwest to become owner-operator for Mason Dixon Trucking. Between long hours on the road, Baylor began to produce pieces that have been called “amped-up still lifes.” (reginaldbaylor.com) His complex compositions of geometric patterning and bursts of color are “motivated by the visual strength given from the standing forests of ‘man made’ that seem to always overwhelm the abundance of what truly is possible and impossible.” Baylor’s work has been on display in the DWR Milwaukee Studio.
Kegan Fisher is an artist and designer based in New York. She has a hard time when asked where she’s “from” – she moved around a lot as a kid and lived in many places – but St. Louis is the answer she usually settles on. After graduating from the Pratt Institute in 2007 with a BFA in Industrial Design, Fisher founded Design Glut (designglut.com), a design and manufacturing company that produces house wares and jewelry with unexpected twists. In her spare time, Fisher paints large, perspective-driven landscapes focused on line, plane and color.
Based in her hometown of Los Angeles, Jean Aw is a 20-something designer and the trendspotter behind NOTCOT.com, a network of informative and collaborative websites that doubles as a design consultancy. Aw often finds the most incredible things in the most unlikely of places and loves bringing them to her readers, often leaving them wondering whether the treasure was in their existence or in their discovery.
Jarrettt Reynolds (jarrettsblog.com) had two choices of careers growing up in his family: a racecar driver or a fashion designer. Since he’s a wuss behind the wheel he chose fashion design and is now design director of Nike Sportswear apparel. Outside of work, Jarrett loves his active Oregonian life, his two Bengal cats, his wife and his newfound hobby of beading.
Australian-born, California-based Amber B. Dianda (amberbcreate.com) sews by night and shoots by day. She is best known for her imaginary world of hand-sewn plush creatures. Soft on the outside but with sinister emotions simmering beneath the surface, Dianda’s creatures provoke thought and interaction from all ages. She is also a photographer to the outside world, with an innate ability to capture emotion with minimal interference. “Art for me is about connection: connecting with friends, but also with the strangers around me. I love being an observer, understanding and conveying that complicated world around us. Albeit sometimes it’s cute and fluffy, and other times it’s dark and thought provoking.”