Interview by Scott A. Sant’Angelo
Photography courtesy of Another Human
A skilled interior designer with nearly a decade of experience, Leah Ring is inspired by the belief that a well-designed space can have a deep impact on the human experience. Leah begins each project with the notion that every space has a story to tell and she is excited to help clients discover that story and bring it to life.
Leah’s approach to design is guided by the belief that the best interiors are those which gracefully blend seemingly opposing styles: minimal yet warm, elegant but fun, contemporary with respect for the past. Sculptural lines and playful proportions inform Leah’s modern aesthetic and artful approach to designing a physical space.
Another Human is an extension of Leah’s passion for creating spaces that inspire and delight. Her playful, sculptural aesthetic is aimed at deconstructing ideas around what a piece of furniture can and should be, while maintaining a functional, livable piece. Drawing inspiration from sources ranging from the Memphis Group to outer space, her aesthetic is playful yet highly considered, often blurring the line between design and art.
Scott A. Sant’Angelo (SAS) – As fans of Ettore Sottsass and the The Memphis Group era, we can appreciate your aesthetic and playful tone with your work. What drove you to create you own collection and share your own passion and love of this style of design?
Leah Ring (LR) – Once I discovered Memphis design and post-modern design in general, it changed my entire view of design as well as my dream trajectory for my career. My furniture practice reflects really personal work for me – I’m able to be more free through my product design than when I’m doing interior design for clients. The Memphis Group is so influential to my practice because the work is playful and fun while being very serious and important work that challenges our preconceived notions about furniture and design objects and how we live with them.
(SAS) – Explain your design process, do you do a lot of sketches, notes – do you make models by hand when you begin?
(LR) – I always start with sketches – typically an idea comes to me and I get it out once, and often the original sketch for a piece looks like the finished product. Even so, I always iterate a lot and sketch a bunch of versions to make sure I’m not missing something. I will then often mock-up designs in full scale templates, either using rolls of paper or foam core depending on what I’m trying to test and visualize. Once I’ve worked out the dimensions and geometry, I work on more technical drawings for my fabricators.
(SAS) – How important is your impact on the environment as a business and what steps do you take to insure that you are doing whats best?
(LR) – It’s something that I think about a lot, especially since I work with plastics which have such a negative connotation. I work with all local Los Angeles fabricators so materials aren’t traveling long distances and I’m supporting the local workforce and design community. I also design high quality pieces that are made to last a long time, and I think by doing that and avoiding designing to the trends of the moment, hopefully my furniture will have longevity which is the most environmentally sound way I can think of to design.
(SAS) – We ask this to most of our interviewees as we feel it is important – how has your creative space shaped you as an designer? What would you say is a constant inspiration?
(LR) – I just moved into a new studio a few months ago and it’s been really creatively invigorating to have a new environment in which to design. I keep a lot of interesting materials around and I’m constantly listening to music – music is probably my greatest source of inspiration as it allows my mind to wander.
(SAS) – Lastly, what is on the horizon for you, what should be looking out for
(LR) – I’m working on a few interesting interiors projects that I hope to finish later this year, I also have a collection that I was going to show in May during New York Design Week (which did not happen because of the pandemic) so I’m trying to figure out if there is someway I can still share that work. I might just continue to build on that collection with the hopes of showing a larger collection next year – I’m not quite sure what the right move is given the uncertainty that we’re living with right now. I’m also hoping to buy a house in Joshua Tree later this year which will be a super fun design project for me – I want to really experiment with the space and get out a bunch of ideas that have been living in my brain for years.
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