It's happening, just not the way the NYTimes says it is. With very mixed feelings we read the front of the H&H section today: Aspiring to the Throne. It was another button pushing article in which a hierarchy was created that promises to excite any number of feelings and stir up a bit of controversy...
In an effort to write about the rise of retail design shops, Murray Moss becomes the US design kingpin and the younger folk become avenging super heroes with various quirkly psychoses and styles (ie. Jamie Gray as Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in X Men). And Murray Moss, in typical kingpin fashion, says he doesn't even know these punks (I should spend more time in "the 'hood," he says).
With all due respect, Moss is a cool shop, but what is going on in the retail design community is a groundswell that Moss is a part of, not responsible for (If you want to talk about kingpins, heck, what about DWR? Target?).
Design in this country is on the march, and what we are seeing is the "gourmeting" of our taste for design. In the same way that we've become much smarter and more demanding consumers of food and drink, we are now setting our sites on the rest of our home: furnishings, artwork, textiles, etc, and wanting greater quality, style and practicality (and novelty).
Style in home design is a form of self expression in just the same way that cooking, music and clothing are. We are now wanting a home that expresses who we are. We want to come home and feel refreshed, enlivened and in our own funky skin. And we want friends to come over and feel the same way.
In our generation, no one wants a home that looks like it came right out of Pottery Barn.
Design consciousness is a big part of this evolution.
I guarantee that by 2010 you will be sitting on a chair in your office that you not only know the name of, but you also know the designer's name as well. And that goes for home items such as your chairs and bedding among other things.
Europe is a big influence here. In terms of novel, new design and new materials, there is a great deal of cool stuff coming out of Europe that we are seeing much more of due to blogs and magazines and intrepid importers like ALL of those mentioned in the article.
And talented young designers are a big influence here. Both in the US and overseas, there is much more of a constant flow of ideas. The post Baby Boom generation is looking for new voices, separating themselves from the styles (and names) of the past: Eames, Starck, Noguchi, Rashid, Newson, van der Rohe...
We want to find the new, new thing.
And these new shops are doing a great job. Moss is just one of them.