on april 1, 2020, new york gallery friedman benda initiated a series of online interviews aimed at connecting individuals across the world with leading voices in the creative field. design in dialogue is a conversational program hosted alternately by curator and historian glenn adamson and designer stephen burks that engages with designers, makers, critics, and curators as they reflect on their careers and creative processes. against the backdrop of COVID-19 and global lockdowns, the conversations are held virtually on zoom for 1 hour for anyone in the world to tune in to, and include a participatory Q&A with the audience in attendance. friedman benda has since presented more than 40 episodes, and will continue with a lineup of future guests, each offering unparalleled insight into the sensibilities, musings, and memories of today’s creative protagonists. see our recent feature of pedro reyes and carla fernández on practice and personal life, and april greiman on pre-computer technology and communicating with space.
on september 30, design in dialogue welcomed multifaceted british creative samuel ross, who has risen to fame over the past few years for his material-intensive streetwear line A-COLD-WALL*, his collaborations with brands such as NIKE and oakley, and his design firm SR_A. ross joined glenn adamson to discuss his previous projects, as well as his latest creative venture — a body of work including furniture and other objects, which connects past archetypes with contemporary cultural concerns.
watch the full video interview at the top of the page and stay tuned as designboom continues to share design in dialogue features. see all past episodes — and RSVP for upcoming ones — here.
looks from an A-COLD-WALL* collection demonstrate ross’ unique take on avant-garde utility
ross began by considering how the current state of the world has affected his creative approach. a polymath that engages in a gamut of creative fields — including fashion, installation, and furniture — ross has found that today’s societal condition has pushed him towards experimentation, freedom, and thinking about projects from a more political and self-referential perspective. ‘whereas before I was slightly more precious about what fields I would say I operated in simultaneously, at this time — when we’re at such a pivotal point within the 21st century and the future of mankind — it’s really about having a velocity and agility to works coming forward,’ he describes. ‘my mantra and philosophy as of now feels a little more open, and a little bit more experimental. there’s definitely a spirit that pulls me to talk about things from a more political standpoint actually, which maybe wasn’t the case before. there was always a social and socialist layer of messaging that was encrypted in my works, but now it feels like there’s really this crystalized point where we need to be a lot more vocal about the works. there’s a lot more of a focus on identifying with the diaspora and self, which really needs to be on the forefront all of works that come forth.’