For this month’s Where I Work, we go behind-the-scenes with trailblazing artist and designer, Sebastian Errazuriz, who is hot off the success of his 12 Shoes for 12 Lovers (read Part 1 & Part 2) project and his Blow Me installation. No stranger to a bit of controversy, the New York-based workaholic exhibits work around the world and he’s currently prepping for his first solo museum exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art this Fall. Let’s have a look inside his Industry City studio in Brooklyn to see where the Chilean-born designer makes all the magic happen.
What is your typical work style?
I arrive at the studio at 7:30 AM every morning, I work until 7:30 PM. On Saturdays I arrive at 9, work until 6.
[Wait, is that a coffin? Yes, it’s his Boat Coffin design.]
What’s your studio environment like?
I have four people helping out on a variety of projects. The number may occasionally grow depending on the projects. I handle approximately 40 projects in parallel so I need the studio to be tight and offer mental tranquility. We try to keep it white and clean like a laboratory.
How is your office organized/arranged?
The studio is divided by areas: There’s an area for works on paper, prints, 3D prints, and computer work. An area for fabrication of new pieces, an area for assembly and a storage area for finished works. We also have a “gallery area” for evaluating, showing, and photographing work. Finally there is a very small area where I have some exercise machines to work out in between because I would never have time to go to the gym otherwise.
If you could change something about your workspace, what would it be?
Nothing. I am extremely fortunate and grateful to have my dream studio. I was able to rent out a full open floor and therefore every wall, door or electric outlet was built following my own design layout. The building also has a rooftop with a view of the NY skyline that’s perfect to remind yourself how tiny and insignificant we are and get right back to work.
Is there an office pet?
No pets, unless they are mummified.
How do you record ideas?
I have a wall that holds approximately 1200 sheets of A4 paper. It gets taken down and replaced with new ones at the end of every cycle.
What kind of design objects might you have scattered about the space?
Always depends on which artworks or designs I’m working on at the moment.
Are there tools and/or machinery in your space?
We have a complete traditional wood shop and we hope to acquire soon a mid-size CNC. We also have a couple of 3D printers, photo printers, a vinyl plotter, etc.
What tool do you most enjoy using in the design process?
I’m happy with just pen and paper. I like carving too.
Let’s talk about how you’re wired. Tell me about your tech arsenal/devices.
We have some high tech stuff but we work mostly with old school traditional tools.
What design software do you use, and for what?
We use a full range of software but consider them simple tools. The idea will always dictate whichever software we need depending on the projects we are working on.
Do you have a favorite piece or collection that you’ve designed?
Not really, I’m always more interested in the new projects I’m working on.
When did you feel like you “made it”? With what design? At what moment/circumstances?
I don’t feel I have made it yet. I hope maybe in a few more years.
Tell us about a current project you’re working on. What was the inspiration behind it?
A Norton motorcycle that tries to capture the inherent power and vulnerability of the rider.
What’s on your desk right now?
Always papers with ideas and coffee.
Do any of your designs live in your home or personal life?
None, my home looks like a generic hotel room. My life is at the studio.