Eat My Words: The ID 40


Each year, ID picks the 40 best of something in the design world and dubs it the ID 40. For this year’s issue, which is on newsstands now, they picked 40 awesome creative workspaces, and I think they assigned me the very best one.

I got to spend an afternoon over at Ball-Nogues, the Echo Park studio of the adorable duo Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues. Actually, studio is really not the right word; it’s still very much the dusty three-car garage it was before they moved in. Well, actually, right before they moved in it was an underground death metal club. I am so not kidding. To claim the space for themselves, Benjamin and Gaston painted the garage fluorescent orange and hired a neighborhood kid named Ziggy to tag it with magic mushrooms (and perhaps on magic mushrooms). From this tiny orange shed on this quiet residential street emerges their world-famous larger-than-life installations, like Liquid Sky, which draped over MoMA’s PS1 museum in Brooklyn last summer, and Maximilian’s Schell, the shimmering vortex at Materials & Applications here in LA that got tons of press last year. Now you can check out the article online due to the wonders of Texterity.

Which is funny because I also got to write about Materials & Applications in this issue of ID. M&A is a little front yard in Silver Lake where directors Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess curate these massive temporary site-specific wonders, and currently, it’s home to Density Fields by Oyler Wu Collaborative. Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu created this somewhat menacing structure out of aluminum tubing and flagpole rope that reaches out towards the street like it’s about to take out someone on the other side of Silver Lake Boulevard. You gotta see this thing in person to truly appreciate it, something I highly recommend doing before it gets disassembled to make way for the next installation in March. Here’s the Density Fields piece, as a PDF.

There is one workspace online I’d love to send your way: The studio of my friend Marian Bantjes, who works in a house on Bowen Island, just west of Vancouver, British Columbia. And once you read it, you’ll understand how she has both the inspiration and the inclination to do all that gorgeously-obsessive work.

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