Friday Five with Harry Allen

Harry Allen and his work are no stranger to the pages of Design Milk and the New Jersey-born, New York City-based designer has launched a copious amount of work since establishing his eponymous firm in 1993 after earning a Master’s Degree in Industrial Design from Pratt. From interiors, furniture, and lighting, to various cheeky products, like his infamous pig bank and his super fun banana bowl, Allen’s designs make a statement and are almost always unforgettable, which makes learning what makes him tick that much more intriguing. Read on to get a glimpse into some of his favorite things, in this week’s Friday Five.

1. Noodles
Nothing hits the spot like a steaming bowl of ramen on a cold winter’s night. I have done a lot of work in Japan and have a great appreciation for Japanese noodles. It was my go-to meal in Japan – easy to order and always delicious – and thankfully the East Village, where I live and work, now has many ramen places to choose from. My personal favs are Momofuku and Kambi.

2. Museum Shows
Manus x Machina at the Metropolitan Musuem of Art, Pipilotti Rist’s Pixel Garden (above) at the New Museum, and How Should We Live? Propositions for the Modern Interior at MoMA are the last three shows that I took in. I feed my head with art and design – seeing it in person is best – and I love when an amazing curator has organized it all for me. I am inspired for months to come. Next on my list is Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design at the Jewish Museum.

3. John Holm’s Garden
Gardens have always been a source of inspiration, and I had the great fortune to fall in love with a horticulturalist/garden designer. The backyard of our house in Bedford, NY is his playground. I help a little, but mostly I get to gaze upon it in wonder. Even in the deepest of winter it can be enjoyed as the underlying structure is exposed and textures are highlighted by snow and winter light – and right now the miraculous Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) is in bloom!

4. Yoga
I have been doing yoga for almost 30 years, but for the past 16 years I have been practicing Katonah Yoga with Nevine Michaan and Abbie Galvin. I cannot think of a better thing for body and mind and the Katonah Yoga practice explores structure in a way that appeals to my design mind. I have some of my best ideas in the middle of class when my head is clear. As a matter of fact, I just designed Abbie’s new studio at 302 Bowery in NYC.

5. Snowboarding
Dwarfed by mountain and sky. Racing down the hill. Testing the limits of coordination. The complete joy of “flow.” Top it off with a little après ski, spa, and/or dinner, crash, and then do it all over the next day. Snowboarding is my favorite vacation.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief 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.