Pro Tip / Paris for Design Lovers

Hot on the heels of our Thanksgiving trip to Paris, we bring you our guide to Paris for design lovers! Here we feature some of our favorite places in Paris - some more well-known, others lesser known - but all places full of inspiration.

Exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo

Exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo

PALAIS DE TOKYO

If you’re someone who doesn’t “get” contemporary art, this is THE contemporary art museum for you. Palais de Tokyo hosts some of the most interesting and beautiful contemporary art exhibits that at times cross disciplines into nature, science, and social commentary. Case in point - currently on view is “ON AIR” by the Argentinian artist Tomås Saraceno which explores human and non-human ecosystems and interdepencies in haunting, poetic ways. The exhibit begins with a large dark room with spot-lit intricate spider webs that make you stop and wonder, goes into space and particles, and ends with an interactive audio and physical installation that encourages play.

Monsieur Bleu

Monsieur Bleu

MONSIEUR BLEU

While you’re at Palais de Tokyo, you might as well stop by the delicious and stunningly luxurious yet understated Monsieur Bleu. Designed by the French architect and interior designer Joseph Dirand (one of our favorites), the restaurant is a beautiful experience from the service to the food to the interiors. You won’t find many tourists here either. Reservations are recommended.

Le Corbusier’s Studio-Apartment

Le Corbusier’s Studio-Apartment

LE CORBUSIER’S STUDIO-APARTMENT

For any architecture enthusiast, Le Corbusier’s Studio-Apartment is a must-see and located just west of central Paris near Bois De Boulogne. While Le Corbusier is a major figure in modern architecture, he actually started out as a painter and continued to paint throughout his life. His studio-apartment, where he lived for over 30 years, is fascinating as a work in progress where he experimented with painting, furniture, and architecture. Reservations required.

Merci

Merci

MERCI

While Colette, the original retail concept store, is no longer with us, there is still Merci, located in the Marais neighborhood of Paris. This charming lifestyle shop is approachable and unpretentious, selling everything from charcoal soap to Marni to used books. The best part? 100 percent of the profits go to a charitable foundation dedicated to helping women and children in Madagascar, but you’d never know it because they keep it on the down low.

The modern & contemporary wing at Musée des Arts Décoratifs

The modern & contemporary wing at Musée des Arts Décoratifs

MUSÉE DES ARTS DÉCORATIFS

An often overlooked museum whose primary location is right next to the Tuileries Garden and Louvre Museum, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs is dedicated to beautiful, useful things throughout history. We love their exhibits on furniture and fashion design, and currently on view is an exhaustive retrospective of the influential 20th century architect and designer Gio Ponti - the first held in France.

These are just five of our current favorite spots in Paris. We’d love to hear where you go for inspiration - share with us in the comments below!

Behind the Scenes / 5 Questions with Heather Rosenman Ceramics

Heather Rosenman’s Leto Series displayed in her dining room   (image source  )

Heather Rosenman’s Leto Series displayed in her dining room (image source)

Heather Rosenman first appeared on our radar with her Leto series of ceramic works that stopped us in our tracks with their strong geometric forms, at once evoking both the ancient and modern. So when it came to planning our trip to Los Angeles in October, we immediately scheduled a visit to her studio in east LA. Heather was warm, gracious, and open, and we can’t wait to incorporate her stunning pieces into our interior design projects. Read on to learn more about Heather’s work and inspiration and view scenes from her studio.

Rosenman’s office where you can see evidence of her former life as a graphic designer

Rosenman’s office where you can see evidence of her former life as a graphic designer

Works in progress in the studio

Works in progress in the studio

Q: What is your background?

A: I'm originally from New York. I received a BFA from The Cooper Union, working in design firms along the way. I then attended the Basel School of Design in Switzerland for graduate work. Then to Amsterdam working for Total Design, a Dutch design firm. I returned to New York and worked in branding and identity when in 1992, was transferred to Los Angeles to open a Branding satellite office. After years as creative director I escaped the corporate world to throw some mud.

Q: How did you get started in ceramics after a career in graphic design?

A: My husband gave me a wheel as a gift. I had no experience but he confidently said, “I think you're going to like this.” It changed my life. With a deep appreciation of art history, form, space, engineering, architecture, even typography and logo design, the transition to ceramics was rapturous.

Cannabis-friendly, graphic experiments inspired by  Isamu Noguchi’s playgrounds

Cannabis-friendly, graphic experiments inspired by Isamu Noguchi’s playgrounds

More experiments

More experiments

Q: What is the common thread, if any, that can be seen throughout your designs?

A: A deep appreciation of ancient forms/relics, ceramics, modern art and the history of design.  I’m driven to combine a primitive aesthetic with modern sensibilities.

I've had a long running theme that continues to develop my Leto series. I look to Cycladic figures of carved marble, which were brilliantly painted - the Cyclades Grecian islands were rich in minerals. They were weathered and bleached by the sun to a magnificent white. They originated from 3200 to 2700 BC and yet they are stunningly modern and simplified.

Cuneiform is my inspiration for the Scribe series. Cuneiform is one of the earliest systems of writing- it is a strikingly graphic glyph-like communication. My linear designs are like a language, mathematical equations or calendars of my life.

I'm also fascinated with machines and engineering. My wonder portals and contraptions are made to feel like artifacts of machines that have not yet been invented. Just as archaeologists unearth dilapidated tools and used deductive and inductive reasoning to understand their functions, these forms invite us to explore the future from a similar point of view.

Inspiration on display in the studio

Inspiration on display in the studio

Glaze color samples

Glaze color samples

Q: What are your aspirations for the next 3-5 years?

A: Continue developing designs and reach to other mediums. In February 2019, I am launching a textile collection for Kerry Joyce Textiles based on my ceramic surface designs (that Kerry and I created in collaboration). Available at Kneedler Fauchere [a local to-the-trade showroom].

Completed works

Completed works

The studio kiln in its own shed

The studio kiln in its own shed

Q: What motto do you try to live by?

A: The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Ceramic outdoor mobiles

Ceramic outdoor mobiles

Site Visit / Oliver Ranch

The starting point for the Oliver Ranch tour

The starting point for the Oliver Ranch tour

It’s no secret we love art, but what you may not know is that we especially love installation art. Earlier this year we had the privilege of visiting Oliver Ranch in Sonoma County, located about a 1.5 hour drive north of San Francisco (sans traffic).

Steve Oliver of the Oliver and Company construction firm and former president of the board at SFMOMA commissioned the first piece for his ranch in 1985. Since then, the stunning 100-acre property has seen 17 more installations built. Fun fact: Oliver Ranch was the first site-specific sculpture park of its kind preceding the more well-known Storm King Art Center in New York.

Now for a few of our favorite installations from the tour:

Roger Berry’s  Darwin  made of corten steel, and a feat of engineering

Roger Berry’s Darwin made of corten steel, and a feat of engineering

Terry Allen’s  humannature , a pair of delightful bronze sculptures

Terry Allen’s humannature, a pair of delightful bronze sculptures

Robert Stackhouse’s  Russion River Bones  replicates the land below

Robert Stackhouse’s Russion River Bones replicates the land below

Ann Hamilton’s cast concrete performance tower, our personal favorite

Ann Hamilton’s cast concrete performance tower, our personal favorite

We were lucky to have Mr. Oliver as our tour guide who shared the crazy stories and feats of engineering behind the art, including being investigated by the CIA! You can sign up for your own tour whose proceeds go directly to the non-profit organizations sponsoring the tour.

What are some of your favorite site-specific art installations? Share with us in the comments below!

All photography by Christine Lin.

Behind the Scenes / 8 Questions with San Francisco’s Jack Fischer Gallery

Form + Field loves art. Not only can art have an emotional impact, but the right piece can anchor all the elements in a space and create visual harmony. As a side benefit, art can also be a great conversation starter!

When it comes to hunting for that perfect piece, one of Form + Field’s go-tos is The Jack Fischer Gallery in Potrero Hill and Minnesota Street Project.

The Jack Fischer Gallery at Minnesota Street Project

The Jack Fischer Gallery at Minnesota Street Project

When he opened the gallery 16 years ago, Jack Fischer’s mission was to exhibit the work of “insider” and so-called “outsider” artists, to support both of these important groups in the art community.

Jack’s faithfulness to this vision has since curated one of the most diverse art collections in the city. (The painting in our One Room Challenge: Living Room Makeover came from The Jack Fischer Gallery!)

Here are a few of our other favorite pieces:

"Machochinos" by Kirstine Reiner Hansen

"Machochinos" by Kirstine Reiner Hansen

"Big Rock Candy Mountain 7" by Henrik Drescher

"Big Rock Candy Mountain 7" by Henrik Drescher

"Untitled #376" by Jay Kelly

"Untitled #376" by Jay Kelly

It's no surprise that the man behind the gallery is just as interesting as the art within.

8 Questions with Jack Fischer

Q: What inspires you?
A: I am lucky to be inspired on a daily basis by everything, from a story in the news to a crushed can in the street.

Q: If you were a piece of art, what would you be?
A: A collage, a multimedia piece, a wallflower, a Francis Bacon, a Picasso.

Q: How do you evaluate a work of art?
A: If I would own the piece. In terms of its monetary value, there is a history of what the artist’s work has been selling for. It is also the hardest thing to do with emerging artists.

Q: Your gallery features a diverse collection of artists’ work. What is the common thread, if any, between them that compels you to share them with the world?
A: I love to see the evidence of the artist’s hand, the obsession with making marks. And work that I could see in my home.

Q: If you weren’t a gallery owner, what would you be?
A: An actor.

Q: What are your aspirations for the next 3-5 years?
A: To have the work of artists that I represent be acquired by museums.

Q: What motto do you try to live by?
A: Be kind and engaged.

Q: What is the effect you hope your gallery will have on individuals or the community?
A: That I would instill a love of art and hopefully the collecting bug. This will in turn support artists. Artists are an integral part of the fabric of any community.

We couldn’t agree more.

Love art? Share your favorite gallery or artist in the comments below!

Pro Tip / Form + Field's Favorite San Francisco Shops

One of the best parts about designing interiors in San Francisco: endless options for sourcing. Many creative shops, niche boutiques, and historic galleries are hiding right here in our own city. Each work of art, piece of furniture, or unique object carries a local flavor that only enhances its appeal — and its appeal in a space. Here is Form + Field's list of top shops worth getting off the laptop for:

The Future Perfect at 3085 Sacramento St.

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The Future Perfect’s design gallery is genius for its simplicity: modern and contemporary style, elegant product lines, and one-of-a-kind pieces. / Image Credit

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The experience of walking through The Future Perfect is as well-crafted and thoughtful as the objects inside. A minimalist style gives each piece the environment in which to shine — and gives us a glimpse of how it might look in your home. / Image Credit

ACACIA at 415 Valencia St.

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We love ACACIA and its very thoughtfully curated collection of pieces. ACACIA’s prioritization of each object’s function, in addition to its aesthetics, makes this shop a joy to browse. When we hand-select pieces, we’re confident that our clients will enjoy using them for seasons to come. / Image Credit (above)Image Credit (below)

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STUFF is a two-story collective of vintage modern furniture, glassware, wall art, and more. With so much to see and works of art to uncover, we can get lost in here for hours. Fortunately, the time spent searching is almost always rewarded with pieces that are unique, interesting, and full of future conversations. / Image Credit

Lost Art Salon at 245 S. Van Ness Ave.

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Lost Art Salon houses a collection of paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs from artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection pays particular homage to the Modern Era, which makes it one of our go-to shops for tying together the elements in a room or finding the perfect painting to make a statement. / Image Credit

Tell us! What design shops do you love in SF?