Leah Ring: Finding Joy in Brilliant Design
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“I’ve loved bright colors since I was a kid,” says Leah Ring, the Los Angeles-based founder of the product and interiors agency Another Human. This will come as no surprise to fans of Ring’s next-level design work, which ranges from the royal-blue and Martian sunset colors of an exhibition space at Intro/LA to the sinuous, gelatinous curves — in translucent pink and brown — of her Leelo side table to a glorious bathroom concept in teal and lime-green. (That shade of green, in fact, was “my favorite color in second grade and it still is my favorite color today,” she says.) “I think color is such a powerful emotional tool in design — certain colors can evoke strong emotional responses, and for me, color brings me a lot of joy.”
Ring earned her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University – not in product design but in communications studies — before launching her career in high-end home interiors in Southern California. Each iteration of her career has seemed to propel itself forward on a mixture of mastery — of proportion, color, texture — and experimentation, playing with materials as humble as your average craft-store tie-dye kit. “I actually used [the tie-dye] when I was staying out in Joshua Tree and made sweatpants, an apron — which gets a ton of use with all of the cooking I’m doing in lockdown — and a bunch of tea towels to add some fun color to my kitchen,” Ring says.
That sense of experimentation applies equally to her more commercial projects. “I would say 100% of my furniture practice is just experimentation and seeing what works,” she says. “Because my work often starts from a very conceptual place, I’m often asking my fabricators to push the boundaries of what is typical for a certain material, so there’s always a bit of mystery as to how the finished product will turn out — but I find that very exhilarating. With every new piece I design, I’m learning throughout the process and trying to use that knowledge to push myself further out of my comfort zone as I move forward.”
We’ll see more of the fruits of that practice later in 2021, as Ring debuts not one but two new furniture collections: one called Ferngully, the other yet to be named. “Ferngully is botanically inspired and incorporates a lot of soft jewel tones, whereas the other collection is sort of ‘Art Deco on acid’-inspired, with some weird hues mixed with a neutral, to ground the collection,” Ring says. “I think I tend to naturally swing between the two pendulums of art and utility.”
Key to sharing this work with the public is Ring’s online presence: her Squarespace website. “Now more than ever, the main way for me to share my work with the world is through my website,” she says. “Squarespace has allowed me to have a beautiful visual template within which to display my work in a way that is clear and easy to navigate for potential customers and collaborators.”
Squarespace makes it easy for creatives to have a super-professional website that they can control.
For Ring, ease of use ranks highly on her list of website must-haves. “It’s important for me to be able to update my website with new products, press, etc., in real time. With Squarespace, I’m able to do that easily — and I’m definitely no tech wiz!”
Also among her top features: Squarespace’s “really elegant” templates and its customer service. “I’ve used their customer service more than a few times via chat and email, and they’ve been so responsive and clear in walking me through how to resolve my question,” Ring says. “I find it really comforting to know that if I get stuck trying to edit or design something on my website, I can get it resolved quickly so that I’m able to showcase the work the way I want to.”
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Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.