Born to cooler-than-cool creatives, Aya Kanai spent her childhood enmeshed in New York City’s community of artists, hanging out with the likes of Keith Haring (you can read more about her connection to the famous artist here) and Miles Davis. But these days she’s the creative, as the head of content and creator partnerships at Pinterest. 

“Pinterest is a place where people come to plan their lives,” Kanai tells Domino’s editor at large, Jessica Romm Perez, on this week’s episode of Design Time (out today on Spotify and Apple Podcasts). “The beauty of seeing the ecosystem of how a trend originates with tastemakers, and grows and grows over time, is seeing how it inspires so many people around the world to surprise themselves and try something new.”

In their conversation, Kanai shares more about the power of Pinterest, how you can now create original content on the platform using Idea Pins, and the 10 things inspiring her right now. Read on for a sneak peek.

Design Hero

There’s really only one answer for me and that’s fashion designer Issey Miyake. My mother works for him, so having seen the evolution of his career since the late ’60s and early ’70s, I know he’s someone who just does not follow what other people are doing. He continues to find success in his own way, decade after decade.

Favorite Color Pairing

Red is always my favorite color, and I love a punchy red and pink together.

Hotel Hitmaker

After 18 months of not traveling, there is nothing I want more than to stay at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles and sit by the pool eating lobster salad.

Inspiring Artist

This is unoriginal, but Isamu Noguchi; I love going to his museum here in New York. When you think about [how] we have all needed to find ways to calm down in the past year, I have often thought about his work to find that calm.

Object Obsession

I recently bought this superfun throw blanket from a young designer named Zoe Schlacter. They make brightly colored, crazy designs, and I just knew it was the kind of punchy joy that I needed in my living room.

Photography by Ben Eaton/Unsplash

Trend to Know

Pinterest saw that [searches for] black houses had grown 774 percent since 2014. I’m sure it was inspired by a lot of the designers who are featured at Domino.

Bedside Read

This past year I read every single children’s book under the sun and particularly loved Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing. It’s such a fun history of his life, and I enjoy reading it with my daughter.

Photography by Naima Green

Material of the Moment

Plywood is just the perfect material. It’s cheap, you can stain it, you can varnish it, you can leave it raw. We have this giant bookcase in our living room that my husband made of plywood and plumbing pipe. It’s just the best and it’s attainable.

Design Destination

This past weekend, I went to the New York Botanical Garden and took in the Yayoi Kusama exhibition, and it was so much fun. It was a day of intergenerational fun. I highly recommend it as a place to unwind and enjoy time with family.

Best Bloom

Dried flowers are key in the video-call world that we have been experiencing.

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