Friday Five with Alexander Purcell Rodrigues

Since our eyes feasted on Alexander Purcell Rodrigues’ Cartesian Chairs at WantedDesign last year, we knew he’d be an excellent Friday Five candidate. His studies took him to both Cambridge University in England and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, before he jumped into the design world and hit the ground running. Honing his architecture design skills in London while working at Richard Rogers and Manser Associates, Rodrigues then moved to Los Angeles where he became an award-winning Art Director at M&C Saatchi LA. Taking a leap out on his own in 2012 led him to launch Alexander Purcell Rodrigues Design where his diverse background leads the way. Want to see what this boundary pusher finds inspiring? Take a look…


Calatrava’s Turning Torso II, 1991

1. As a teenager, I discovered the sculptural and architectural work of Santiago Calatrava. Static yet in motion, complex but pure, elegant and always in tension… A perfect sensory equilibrium. For me his works have always been mesmerizing; in hindsight, a pivotal point in my foray into design.

Jewel Scarab Beetle wings. Image Copyright 2003 Barbara Strnadova

Jewel Scarab Beetle wings. Image Copyright 2003 Barbara Strnadova

2. In memory of the late Norm Schureman, who brought the beauty of insects to my attention. Each one of these little critters are like miniature products. Defined by their environment, engineered by nature with part lines and mechanics so perfectly positioned and resolved they could have have been milled out of aluminum.

Concretto spaziale, Attesa, 1965

Concretto spaziale, Attesa, 1965

3. Simple some might say. Though within the context of his work, Lucio Fontana was cutting through of the art worlds’ assumptions (no pun intended). An intriguing life-long experiment in spatial proportions through a pure effective manipulation of color and matter.


Polliversum by Martin Oeggerli. Hand-colored SEM images of pollen.

4. Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. Incredible forms and textures can be seen in the microscopic photography of Martin Oeggerli.

Photo by Helene Binet

Thermal Baths in Vals by Peter Zumthor. Photos by Helene Binet.

5. Sympathetic to its site and local materials, this monelithic stone building has a noble serenity surpassed by none. Zumthor is an architect with absolute integrity, one from whom designers in all fields can learn.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.