Sunday, July 26, 2009

TLC Interview: studio_eQ

I first took note of studio_eQ by there laser cut scarves, which reminded me of a Rudi Gernreich piece... Enjoy!

The Laser Cutter: Who makes us studio_eQ, besides yourself?

studio_eQ: Jess Campion, Chris Burdick, Joey Fonacier = studio_eQ

TLC: So, Where are you from?

seQ: The three of us are originally from New York. Chris from Syracuse, Jess from Garrison, New York and I’m from Long Island and the City. Chris and Jess moved out to LA almost 3 years ago and I moved out here a little over a year ago when we formed studio_eQ

TLC: How long have you been… what title do you preferred title?

seQ: The existential answer is that we’ve been designers our whole lives, but the real answer is we met in architecture school almost 9 years ago where our formal design careers began. We all went to work professionally in the architecture industry but it seems that we all have creative ADD and through the years have branched out into any other fields of design that interest us. I’ve concentrated heavily on graphic design and computer animation. Jess and Chris in addition to architecture have branched out into furniture design, marketing and (other stuff). Currently, Jess is the only one the works professionally as an architect.

TLC: Where did you attend college?

seQ: The three of us met in architecture school at Syracuse University. Jess received her masters in architecture at USC and I went to Columbia University for a masters urban design. Currently I’m at Gnomon School for Visual Effects to formally switch my career path from architecture to computer animation. While our combined educations provided us a good foundation for the fundamentals of design, it’s really our inability to stay focused and our need to experiment with different things as well as our need to soak in design knowledge from as many places as possible that really helps us grow as designers. It’s also what keeps us passionate about design. We’re a young company trying to grow and really some our most valuable experiences have come through experimentation and getting thrown into the deep end of the pool and figuring out how to swim.

TLC: When did you first begin using a laser cutter?

seQ A: We were first introduced to a laser cutter in our last year of college. Our school had just bought one, but it was promptly broken by one of the freshmen who didn’t know how to use it. Jess, who is our master model builder used a laser cutter extensively with her firm. We had a pretty good summer last year in terms of work and we were able to buy our own. It’s sitting in Chris and Jess’s kitchen/studio.

TLC: How do you set up your files?

seQ: Because we’re architects we typically use AutoCAD to set up our files, but we’re starting to experiment with other programs, Photoshop, Corel, [Adobe] Illustrator. We’ll try any program just to see what kind of stuff we can get out it.

TLC: What’s your favorite material to laser cut?

seQ: Acrylic or plastic is a superior material for laser cutting or etching, the results are finished polished edges and incredible visual depth when etching, but we enjoy the unique materials the most, colored museum board, leather, canvas, various fabrics.

TLC: Do you have any laser cutting horror stories to tell?

seQ: In our very first attempt to cut the scarf, we had the brilliant idea of buying cashmere for like $25 a yard. What we quickly figured out was that cashmere is actually hair and smells like burning hair when its put under the laser cutter. We got our first prototype done but you could smell burnt hair for blocks.

TLC: Where do you get you inspiration?

seQ: If you were to ask us individually you’d probably get a hundred different answers. Our inspiration comes from everywhere. We keep an INSPIRATION folder on our server which is literally a couple of gigs of images and videos that we drag off websites. We compulsively search the internet for anything that that we find to be cool or beautiful.

TLC: Do you have any future laser cutting plans TLC may be interested in?

seQ: These scarves are our first attempt to create a product with the laser cutter. We think that we’ve just scratched the surface of what this thing can do. We have millions of ideas, the biggest problem is trying to find time to work these ideas out and getting them out of our heads. We have some crazy ideas rattling around.

TLC: So where can the readers reach you?

seQ: is the website for our architectural or service work. We offer architectural firms computer renderings, physical models and laser cut marketing materials, such as business cards. is our consumer online store where we sell our laser cut scarves and eventually our full line of products. is our blog. It has some of our latest work but we mostly use it as a inspirational exchange of ideas. Most of it is stuff that we think is cool and we want each other to see.

TLC: One last question… Is there any smell better than freshly laser cut wood?

seQ: I love waking up to the smell of laser cut wood. I’d wear it as a cologne if I could

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