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Man About Town: Pack Light

I brought one bag with me to Miami Design week and it wasn't even luggage, it was a small knapsack smaller than a duffle bag. There's no real reason I'm being this specific other than the fact that I'm proud to have finally mastered the art of packing light. I'm a collector but not a hoarder, does that make sense? So maybe, I've mastered the art of living light? Nah, almost almost. At this point, I'm just more excited to travel and see things than to buy things, know what I mean?

Above: My mentor Chris' isolated fortress about three hours outside of Toronto. It kinda feels like Nathan's lab from Ex Machina. All I did the entire weekend was drink espresso, white wine, and listen to Teebs. Oh, that was also the weekend Chris put me onto the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Koyaanisqatsi. Crazy.

Above: Go see 'A wall is just a wall' by Kapwani Kiwanga until May 14 at The Power Plant if you're in Toronto. They've got some other cool shit there, too.

Above: A kinetic installation outside of Pérez Art Museum by Jesús Rafael Soto · The School of Architecture at the University of Miami · The Happy Room for Fendi, a collection designed by Cristina Celestino at Design Miami.

Below: Fall/Winter hand tags made using iPhone images from Paris and Amsterdam.

Above: I had to order spare parts for my vintage Bang & Olufsen speakers directly from their showroom. I love that brand, they've given me a new appreciation for sound design.

I loved the PlayStation mini design more than the PS1 when it first came out. I found one online that's almost brand new. I grew out of gaming just after highschool but I admire the development and design of video games nonetheless. I got the PS1 mini for my 'Curves' exhibition (a tentative title) that will include a collection of electronic and analog objects.

NEEDS&WANTS Paper Issue 04

Redesigning NEEDS&WANTS Paper into large format felt like the next natural step in independent publishing. It was rarely called a paper by anyone seeing it for the first time and it was usually described as a fold out poster for the first three issues, which I hated tbh. But at that time, I think our initial approach to starting a publication had more to do with being economic than it had to do with content or design.

I was traveling and constantly seeing really strong design, inspiring design, in so many forms from magazines to museum info pamphlets, enough to make the treasure map type thing we were doing feel amateur. Being challenged by what I was seeing was a good thing, it set a new bar for us, it meant we had more work to do, and that this thing is still growing.

Our new approach is less photos, larger text, better writing, all resulting in what has set the tone for the paper going forward. The marketing of this issue was one of best parts of this rollout, not only because Chi Modu gave us a cover story and let us put his images of Pac into print, but also bringing back newspaper boxes as a form of distribution; especially in an age where things are becoming increasingly paperless.

Issue five is almost done and should be out in April. I know the newspaper boxes are cleaned out but you can still get a copy of the current issue here.

Room For Research

As much as I try to sketch out an idea, sometimes I'll find myself drawing a blank. While I would consider myself a critical thinker, my communication skills are partial; I can execute better than I can plan, mumble better than I can articulate, and daydream more than I can sleep. In this digital age, most people aren't in a rush to make things with their own two hands, and with the endless amount of applications available to us its not like we have to. But, it's the digital age that challenges me to pursue my limits within the real world, with technology serving only as a crutch.

Above: Vintage Bang & Olufsen CX100 passive speakers (c. 1984). Production ceased in September 2003, but I got lucky and found an all white pair online. The system itself is older than me, and sourcing the supporting parts was no walk in the park, but the bass still knocks.

Below: The Olivetti Dora typewriter in perfect working condition. Originally produced in the early 70's, the system's QWERTZ (German Keyboard) took some getting used to. Photos c/o Michael Rousseau

Room For Research is a demo for a solo exhibition I'm working on entitled 'Curves', which is also one of the editing steps I use in Photoshop. Curves are also a constant in my life. For me, nothing has ever been in a straight line, and I try not to view things so straight forward. I'm a millennial by default, we discern, we ask questions. I'm apart of the last generation to experience Summer holiday before the internet but adapt to it as it continues to become part of our existence. I still try not to take my phone to bed but access to information at all times makes it difficult.

I didn't understand the importance of the space around you when working, I was just relying on my own discipline. The truth is, I can't fully concentrate in communal workspaces, I rely on clarity, tranquility, and at times, healthy forms of isolation. The only space you should be trying to fit in is the one you create for yourself. I had to tweet that, too.

Below: Apple iBook G4 (c. October 2004), demo notes and sketches.

I considered all the components of a working space that allow me to be more productive. Books, films, my favourite albums, and a very good sound system bring about an energy that keeps me focused and on task. The setup and synergy of all these components are what I see in museums, galleries, and installations when I travel. I took note of what I felt tapping into my senses, so naturally, I wanted to bring that home.

Above: Screen testing Filed Under Film 2. Unlike the tone of the first instalment, this tape is a stream lo-fi visuals with little dialogue. Watch snippets of it on my Instagram story (for the next 24 hrs) here.

I remember having to present class projects and hating it! I couldn't really explain myself, much less my work, I find it difficult (at times) even now. What I did enjoyed most was building the presentation, thinking of the best possible way to package the work, or work of art.


I've spent the past few years designing jackets as though they were paintings, contrasting colours and experimenting with all sorts of material. Some jackets are reflective of my travels, some even holding a long winded explanation of the contrasting sleeve. I do love what I was making, but I've since evolved, and rather than focus on design that I only find visually appealing, I'm putting my energy towards designing with a deeper sentiment: focusing on practicality, things I would personally wear—everyday. This is a large part of the reason I'm taking my time with our new collection.

Above: Published ads from NEEDS&WANTS F/W '16 campaign · Styling by Sarah Vee. Photography c/o Neva Wireko.

Below: The soft yet striking racer jacket in Lavender suede overlaps from our previous collection, not to revisit but to reiterate our sentiments on combining colour. Oversized zippers on the openings of cropped coach jackets replaced buttoning snap hardware this season; saying more about our stance on utility over leisure.

The previous F/W collection (above) was way more toned down than the F1 inspired collection that released before it; I had plans to continue in that direction a little more refined for F/W, but my mood changes with the seasons I suppose. I still love the idea of contrasting colour, but I almost feel as though I'm insisting, through design, that things only need to be purchased once. Not too mention the next NEEDS&WANTS delivery will include an expanded product line consisting of both jackets, pants, and accessories. I'm amped. After all, it's not as if I'm getting older and wanting more stuff; since the beginning I've been on a quest to minimize.

New York

My friends tell me I've become too obsessed with museums and art galleries. At this point, gallery hopping is probably the first thing I have planned when travelling, and if I'm being honest, that probably won't change anytime soon. In fact, it could only get worse. I've been visiting New York since I was about 16. At that time, I was going for crusades with my church; packed into a rented school bus full of God fearing folks driving for 12 hours while trying everything in my power to break away from the congregation and go sightseeing on my own. How did I ever endure that? I must've really wanted to see New York that bad. And it's possible that because of those previous restraints, what I'm really obsessed with is exploration; I can freely do laps around the island and each time I'm there I discover something new about the city and myself.

Above: The Oculus, a $4 billion dollar structure designed by Santiago Calatrava. It sits at the centre of The World Trade memorial in Lower Manhattan.

Above: Rashid Johnson's 'Fly Away' exhibition at Hauser & Wirth New York. Coincidentally, I walked into the exhibit in the midst of the artist walking visitors through his work. You couldn't help but appreciate the large scale installation of Rashid's work. I'm positive I wasn't the only one picking apart the details of the massive architectural grid full of signifying objects, including video screens, mounds of shea butter, and live plants in ceramic vessels built and decorated by Johnson.

Below: Daniel Arsham's 'CIRCA 2345' at Galerie Perrotin. This show was as ambitious and futuristic as its intent. Also, Daniel Arsham is the co-founder of Snarkitecture, which you need to Google right now.

Above: Josh and I caught up at The New York Public Library. Even being a native New York'er he's still in awe of the library's interior. I've got no photos of it, but I can remember thinking how awkward it was to see people actually studying in the reading room while visitors (most of which I assume were tourists) flooded the space trying to get the best angle on their phones. Maybe its a good thing mine died.

Below: Tonal harmony in Frank Lloyd Wright's living room at The Met. I'll admit, museums of that size are too overwhelming, but I left feeling the need to attend a Met Gala just for shits.

There is a place I tried to get into but was stopped in my tracks by security. The TWA Flight Centre at JFK airport. I wanted to see it in person before they begin a huge commercial restoration this year. The original terminal opened in 1962, designed by Eero Saarinen for Trans World Airlines. The security guard wouldn't even let me in for 5 minutes, even though I mentioned that I landed at Laguardia and detoured there just to check it out. Regardless, I saw a lot of cool shit on this trip, and I can confidently say that I finally know how to use the MTA without getting lost.