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INTERVIEW: David Pierce of Ohio Design
If you haven’t yet heard of OHIO, it’s time. Founded by David Pierce, the San Francisco-based design studio is turning out some of the most stunning, innovative and diverse modern furnishings anywhere. From a starkly minimalist steel and wood bench to a printed bedframe so seductive it was too sexy for an SF magazine’s sex issue, David Pierce tries everything. And succeeds.
Early in his career, David worked as a landscape architect and crafted outdoor furniture for clients on the side. Enamored with the potential of steel, he taught himself to weld and began creating simple pieces, which he sold from a storefront alongside a friend’s handbags. He soon partnered with designer Lian Ng of Publique Living to grow his business, which is now on Fillmore Street in San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood.
OHIO made a big splash at ICFF in New York in years passed, with the debut of a collection of photo-printed wood pieces. Our Editor-in-Chief, Jill, covered these soon after the event, and was as captivated as I was, not only by the designs themselves, which are subtle, enigmatic and alive, but also by the rarity of stumbling upon something truly new. When I commented to David that I hadn’t seen much of this, he enthusiastically corrected me: “You haven’t seen it at all!” And it’s true. He’s landed on a fresh, untapped technique, and the results are breathtaking.
I had the pleasure of sharing a long dialogue with David, which I’ve distilled below. Read on for the details on how minimalist roots grew into the inspired fruits of OHIO.
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