We recently came across a great interview with Jamie Gray of Matter in New York. We thought we'd share just a snippit with you on our blog.
Hope you enjoy it!
"What influences me is ever changing and ever evolving. It's nature, it's American craft, it's Bauhaus. I can obsess over a simple Charlotte Perriand stool for days, but mostly it's the amazing and talented people I work with" Jamie Gray, Metropolis Magazine 20113
Tastemaker Jamie Gray is the founder of New York design and furniture shop Matter. This interior designer’s haven is situated in the heart of the SoHo neighborhood, selling a heady mix of antique and contemporary, crafted and bespoke design pieces, as well as his own signature line of furniture and lighting: MatterMade.
Gray’s keen eye for emerging and established design talent has made Matter an affordable destination for coveted, artisanal design, and is a key driver in the store’s success and longevity.
Gray studied Industrial Design at Pratt Institute, later changing to the Sculpture program. A regular exhibitor on the annual, furniture fair circuit, Gray has curated a space two years running at the directional fashion trade showCapsule in New York. In this report we find out more about this exciting fashion and furniture collaboration, as well as Gray’s thoughts on the future of retail.
Q: Today, on a retail design level, there seems to be a real interest in creating a bridge between the digital experience and the brick and mortar one. What’s your perspective on this?
I think a logical growth of both is important. The most basic idea of retail is that someone can walk into a space and be engaged through the senses, whether it’s visually, aurally or in a tactile way. If you succeed at this, they will stick around.
Fashion has gone somewhat digital; people are buying more than ever online. You can go online and buy a pair of shoes or pants, a shirt and you can return it easily. You don’t have to go to a brick and mortar store today because the digital experience has made it so convenient to shop online. But, it’s not the same for product design; furniture, for example, doesn’t naturally have a bridge from digital to physical. I personally still like to go to a physical space.
My idea of brick and mortar is still that of a Mom & Pop shop. It has personality and it’s more about an idea.Phillip Lim is a good example of this in fashion, andOpening Ceremony has also been successful in this manner too.
Q: What’s next in materials? There’s such an emphasis on wood today, what will follow?
Wood and ceramics are key today. I would say that responsible plastics are next. Everyone will be working out the possible ways to recycle, reuse, repurpose current plastic. There is so much waste already, it seems like a logical thing to do and it’s already happening.
Q: How do you see the DIY movement evolving? It is aesthetically so prominent today.
It is dependent on a person with a strong vision being at the helm. It’s about dictating the choices, the form and the placement of materials. There is a fine line between it looking considered and elegant while being rough and raw, and it being piecemeal and schlocky (cheap).
Q: It’s an interesting time to discuss where retail is heading. It is not necessarily the end of the brick and mortar store, but this is a new reality today.
The challenge is actually how you keep people coming into a store. Brands like MakerBot are creating household rapid prototyping machines.
We are reaching a point where you will be able to order your product at home from your machine. It will replicate items easily and you won’t necessarily have to leave home for some household items. You will be able to order online and have your product delivered to you instantly.