You may not have realized it, but you’ve most likely come in close contact with a Commune Design project. Cofounders Steven Johanknecht and Roman Alonso are the masterminds behind the patchwork face masks that have been all the rage among the design set this year (available in their expertly curated shop), as well as the iconic, California-cool style of the Ace Hotels, among other projects. Alonso found time to sit down with Domino’s editor-in-chief, Jessica Romm Perez, on this week’s episode of Design Time (out today on Spotify and Apple Podcasts), and they caught up on everything from Commune’s latest book to getting to know yourself through design. At the end of the conversation, he shares the 10 things inspiring him right now. Read on for his picks.
Favorite Color Pairing
Pink and orange and brown. That always works for me. It’s not in my house anywhere, but it’s what I’m really attracted to. There is what you live with because you love it, and then there is what you just love. You may not live with what you love.
Charles and Ray Eames, of course. I mean, that seems obvious, but how they jumped from one thing to another, and had no boundaries—that’s always been inspiring to me.
It’s been an interesting experience to travel through Japan. It’s more about the experience in that place.
I’ll tell you a secret. I’m not a hotel person. No matter how great the hotel is. I just never stay in one for very long. I’m one of those people that puts their bags down and then they’re gone. That said, I do look forward to staying at the Bowery Hotel, which is where I always stay when I’m in New York. It’s the place that makes me still feel connected to the city.
Favorite Design Object
My favorite thing that has ever been designed, truly, is an Akari sculpture. I live in a tiny place, and I have five. They’re these beautiful pieces of sculpture that give light. They’re very generous little objects.
Right now my favorite movie is My Octopus Teacher. It really is such an inspiring film. And such a surprise.
Books are a huge source of inspiration to me. The one that is always great is Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People. It’s the book that just keeps on giving.
I have a black thumb. The only things that survive in my care are cacti. I have a small balcony. But I have 18 different species of cacti. I love them. They’re like my friends. They’re so sculptural!
I love the way that carnations and geraniums smell. I can’t help myself around them. Every time I pass by one, I rub my finger on a leaf and bring it to my nose.
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