Evolution Theory: Dylan Davis & Jean Lee

Evolution Theory: Dylan Davis & Jean Lee

“We’re both creative and very practical, which made design an obvious choice for us,” says Dylan Davis of the reason he and partner Jean Lee first founded Seattle-based design house Ladies & Gentlemen Studio. But what started with a ceramic piggy bank and a set of reimagined servers, they’ve quickly expanded to include smart, functional case goods, furniture, lighting, jewelry, and art. Favoring natural materials like blonde wood, brass, copper, and stained glass, the duo places an emphasis on the junction of ideas (the intangibles) and the elements they use to bring them to life (the tangibles).

“We use a variety of product genres to explore our concepts in different ways, and these ideas serendipitously lead to new directions,” explains Davis. Case in point:  e twosome originally began with a nod to vintage whimsy but now lean toward modern and abstract expression, as evidenced in the pieces available from their Natural Selection and Maru/Mirage collections. “It’s very important for us to always be trying new things,” Lee says, “to continuously be exploring and learning.”

LX: Dream collaboration:

JL: We’d love to work with Italian designer Enzo Mari. He has this free, thoughtful way of thinking about design and the world that we completely admire. He’s from an era that has always inspired us. We’d love to soak up some of his wisdom.

LX: Design muses:

DD: The Japanese for their perfectionist’s dedication to craft; the Scandinavians for their honesty and cleverness; the Italians for their playfulness; and the Americans for their pioneering spirit. We always try to incorporate a bit of each into our work.

LX: Favorite museum:

JL: The House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin. It’s this amazingly quirky home built into a cliff side by an eclectic architect who had a penchant for collecting the most random antiques.

LX: Words of wisdom:

DD: We had an instructor in school that would erase parts of our nearly completed drawings to teach us about staying creatively nimble. No matter how perfect you think something is, creativity is iterative; you can always improve on it.;



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