Tell us about you
Andrea and I founded Shapeless Studio about two and a half years ago. We felt that our design aesthetics were really well aligned, and we loved collaborating with each other, so we really wanted to explore that more!
How would you describe your design process?
We are a very collaborative office. We just feel that we get to much stronger ideas by working together, and we are trying to create an environment in our office where everybody is empowered to voice their ideas. We are very detail-oriented, and we begin thinking of nice details and moments pretty early in the design process. We are also constantly collecting inspiration imagery and going out to visit showrooms frequently.
Tell us a little about the 411 Classon project.
Of course! Classon was one of our first, official, Shapeless projects. Our clients for that project were amazing! They are young and they really love to entertain, so that was one thing that really drove the design. Because of their love to entertain, we focused on creating a large social kitchen. They wanted an aesthetic that was very minimal, comfortable and warm. Because of this, we used a lot of white oak and creamy, warm materials.
What are three words to describe your design aesthetic?
Soft, elegant, casual, playful, natural. That's 5 words!
At MINNA we believe in creating beautiful, ethically made products and using business to do good - how do these concepts relate to or inspire your project/purpose/process?
At Shapeless Studio, we really put a lot of emphasis on using natural materials. Natural wood, stone, terracotta, glass... we try to avoid synthetic, petroleum-based and ultra-processed materials whenever possible. We just think natural materials add a layer of depth and history to our projects, especially working in the historic context of Brooklyn. We also like to use products that were created by good companies that have a strong culture of designing and making, like MINNA! We especially love supporting local companies. Engaging with our local design ecosystems really enriches our projects!
What about your home makes it feel like home? What is a favorite memory of yours in your home?
I think a home that reflects your particular lifestyle can really help you settle into who you are as a person, and make it easier to organize your life. That organization can be physical neatness, but it can also be emotional, spiritual, creative, professional… your home is like your rock in the sea. It’s fun to help our clients design their dream home, because everybody has different motivators, and you can really see it in their finished spaces!
My favorite memory of my (Jess') home would have to be coming home from the hospital after we had our first child. Etta was born on December 10th. We had already decorated for Christmas, so when we came home, it was so cozy, and felt like a wonderful place to start a family (plus just not being in a hospital was just so nice!)
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
To not be afraid of bad ideas and miscommunications. I would say that our best designs have grown from the seeds of a lot of bad ideas! One foundational belief we have in our office is that everyone be empowered to voice their bad ideas, because there is always a kernel of something good inside them. Collaboration is especially important to us. When all of our minds are working on the same problems, we come to solutions that are much more elegant than what we would come up with independently.
Architecture and Design: Shapeless Studio
Millwork: James Harmon
Photography: Hagan Hinshaw of Blurry Hinge