Friday Five with Justin Huxol of HUXHUX Design

Justin Huxol is a New York City based designer focusing on interior design and furniture design. He earned a Master in Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and continued honing his skills while working professionally with Bill Price, MOS-Office, Preston Scott Cohen, and Rem Koolhaas at OMA Rotterdam. Huxol went on to found HUXHUX Design where you might spot him using repetitive self-similar figures, an iterative process he picked up from reductive form making through working with Koolhaas. When not designing furniture and interiors, you’ll find him teaching studios in both subjects at Parsons The New School for Design. Take a look at what keeps him inspired in this week’s Friday Five.


1. Totemic Objects
I’m obsessed with totemic objects – things that are pregnant with emblematic meaning that can stand in as figural placeholders for people. It’s not just “traditional” totemic artifacts like this wooden head (left) I picked up at a junk shop in Texas, though aesthetically they tend to fascinate and please me. I’m interested in the nowness of these objects and how they can manifest themselves in the present. Charles Freger’s photographs (right) of present day primitives is particularly intriguing and inspiring.


2. Current Reads
I love a good read. I use books to help foster dialogue between new and old work. Creation requires influence.
Loos: Learn from your mistakes and look good while doing it
Kipnis: Serving up theoretical realness. Preach, Jeffery, preach!
Hickey: Titles like this are rare celebrations
Hix: Embracing physicality for maker tendencies (stuff gets heavy). Summer is coming!
Castle: A true master of construction techniques that I’ve been studying for the past few years.


3. The Ocean
Designers tend to work around the clock. Spending time away and being out on the water surrounded by an absence of anything designed is a huge thrill for me. Especially after this winter I’m anticipating a giant collective embrace of summertime escapades.

Photo courtesy of NASA

Photo courtesy of NASA

4. Holes on Mars
We are always obsessing about news from other planets. Whether it’s holes being dug by probes on Mars or other hyper advancements of science, these kinds of stories provide us with endless inspiration.


5. Scale Figures
I constantly tell my students at Parsons how a nice scale figure can catapult a baby fresh idea in the design studio into something with a lot more meat on its bones. I keep my studio stocked with all sorts of scale figures and use them to play with scale when designing prototypes and models. A lot of what we do comes down to the human scale and peoples’ interactions with the things we produce. These tiny people serve as a reminder to stay focused on design’s relationship with humans – be it spatial, pragmatic, or existential in its motivation.

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.