Wine tasting, art & adornment for you, your home and your friends at LOCZIdesign's 2017 Holiday Party & Bazaar Dec 7th 6-9pm! Learn more about the featured artisans of this year's Bazaar and be sure to RSVP if you are in the San Francisco Bay area.
LOCZIdesign continues it's series celebrating the art of craft as guest blogger Hilary Perr features Kris Marubayashi's work. She was one of select artisans recently featured as part of American Craft Council's 75th Anniversary celebration.
The foundation began in 2007, I believe? My understanding it that it sort of naturally began in Liberia after the war. Could you touch more on that and how you ended up there?
“I ended up in Liberia in 2006. I got my first job with Samaritan’s Purse after college and they sent me to Liberia. I knew nothing about all the complexities of post war Liberia — I thought I would be in the Middle East somewhere. Liberia has a very rich and interesting history, so I just took the plunge. Though the war was officially over in 2003, when I showed up I still saw a lot of displaced adults and children throughout Monrovia. There were people with missing limbs wondering the streets — it was a mess. I was running a literacy program in the bush. So I would come to the city to get supplies and would see children carrying water barrels on their heads, trying to make money, trying to get to school. I didn’t have much money on my salary, but I started paying tuition for some students and began telling people on Myspace, [which was cool at the time] about these children’s stories. I began to receive donations and advice from people who felt I should just begin a nonprofit.”
As an interior design firm, we also like to think of ourselves as a vessel for our clients — creating a home they thrive in, so they can beautifully manifest outwards into the world. Have you personally seen the impact of what a better home provides for your girls, their lives, their goals, and their ability to absorb education?
“We put them through school while partnering up with various leaders within their communities. These kids are pretty much homeless, they stay with relatives in houses made of garbage and tin, they usually sleep on cement floors. … Considering the conditions that they live in, you wonder how they can survive. But putting on a uniform gives them such a sense of pride, even though their school doesn’t have running water. At times some girls stay with me, and even though it’s just a painted cement building, I can just tell when there’s a clean spacious place for them, it makes them comfortable and confident. Bringing them back home is sometimes hard because they do not want to return. We’ve discussed providing a boarding situation, but we’re not quite there yet — we’re getting there though.”
It’s very refreshing to see such a vibrant group of people in your organization; Spain, Sierra Leone, San Francisco, New Jersey, New York, Liberia, New Zealand, and Korea are all represented by More Than Me’s team members. As a worldly woman yourself, do you think you naturally gravitate towards other worldly individuals?
" I work with all types of people, and there isn’t a particular type that I’d prefer to work with. It’s not just the tree-hugger in California, it’s also the republican in New Jersey [where she grew up], or the African American homeless man. It’s really about our humanity — bones and blood. Most want to be involved because they’ve somehow heard the story through me, or a friend. I actually met our web administrator Daniel on a train! I’m constantly talking about the girls. Wow, if these girls even knew that me talking about them is it’s actually what draws people… It is interesting at first when you get a team together, and they all dress differently, spend their free time differently. But there’s a deeper message for us and we live something bigger than ourselves, and get over our ego.”
Your childhood really resonates with me, growing up monetarily less fortunate, but persevering. How far has that taken you in your journey? Where do you think you differ than most people?
" I always have been a little of a strange person, even when I was younger. I never thought I wanted a house with a white picket fence. When I became a born again Christian at the age of 14, I knew I would serve the poor in some way, despite whether or not that was in the U.S.. I grew up in a very white and wealthy part of town, but I myself wasn't wealthy. I always knew that didn't define me. I loved worldy things and one of my best friend growing up was Paraguayan, I loved salsa dancing and I kind of knew that I wanted to live in Latin America or somewhere outside of the States. I had a good relationship with God and felt lucky to be who I was, living an unconventional life. But when I started More Than Me in the beginning, I sort of doubting myself, and my family and friends were also questioning my path. I was the first person in my family to attend college and they thought, 'Wow, you just graduated from college you’re going to be basically be homeless in Liberia?' But it knew it was something I had to just do."
THREE DESIGN MASTERS FEATURED IN designedCOLLECTIVE “MASTER CLASS”
“Local Forum helps designers, craftspeople sharpen the saw.”
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – June 8, 2011 –The designedCOLLECTIVE of San Francisco hosted three masters in automotive, industrial and architectural design for a panel discussion “Sustainability in Design” at Atelier LeeQuen on June 7, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. The fourth in a series of events created by Paige Loczi, owner and creative director of sustainable interior design house LOCZIdesign, drew close to 80 designers, artisans and craftspeople from across the creative spectrum.
Guests of the June 2011 forum of the designedCOLLECTIVE were given the unique opportunity to casually engage in stimulating conversation with three masters: Geza Loczi, awarded the Michelin Lifetime Achievement Award in Automotive Design in 2011; Dave Deppen, architect and thought leader, winner of the first ever Livable Buildings Award; and popular award-winning furniture and lighting designer, Rick Lee.
One participant asked why nature so strongly influenced their designs. “Our world, global society, is so tilted to forget nature,” said Deppen, considered a consummate rule breaker and whose naturally lit buildings surrounded by “enchanted forests” are an example of what happens when nature is revered.
In sharing their Sources for Inspiration, Mr. Loczi said the wind and the aerodynamics it creates and design that is timeless are important considerations when designing his automobiles. And Lee, calling Mr. Loczi’s work “pure, sleek, and innovative”, wondered aloud how he might also design furniture that moves.
And finally, regarding The Role of Sustainability in the Future of Design: "Looking twenty years into the future to resolve issues of sustainability--and then jumping back ten years so we can achieve those goal—is most important,” Mr. Loczi said. “Sometimes we have to envision solutions that have not been achieved in order to create the real possibility. We have to adapt and be able to change platforms and, in turn, be innovative and flexible."
Guests remained long into the evening, a reflection of the need Ms. Loczi seeks to meet. "I love what I do, largely because of the people with whom I work and the beauty that we create as designers. Why not create a community of shared values, one in which we can continue inspire one another? It is my intention that after a gathering of the designedCOLLECTIVE that people leave feeling enlivened and enriched.”
The purpose of LOCZIdesign’s annual salon-style series known as the designedCOLLECTIVE is to educate and engage design professionals in a relaxed setting. With a focus on learning through conversation, professional associations and friendships are encouraged and a lively environment is created, one that includes food, wine and entertainment from local sponsors.
Many thanks to Fork & Spoon Productions, Berkeley Wine Imports, Atelier LeeQuen, FreeLance Productions and DJ Ryan Stubbs for their support. Without them this event would not be possible.
LOCZIdesign creates spaces that balance and inspire, spaces to reflect the unique style and values of our clients. Our approach is personal, interactive and iterative with a commitment to excellence in design and workmanship and to doing our small part of the big job of caring for the planet. We use nontoxic finishes, Earth-friendly carpet and give priority to locally crafted furniture with a vetted history in sustainable building. LOCZIdesign is located at 7 Joost Avenue in San Francisco and at http://www.loczidesign.com.
On January 20th, LOCZIdesign teamed up with Woodshanti to host the annual designedCOLLECTIVE event, and the response was terrific, 57 people in total!
In keeping with our role as a collective, the venue changes, but the authentic, collaborative vibe remains the same. This time, the location was Woodshanti’s Bayview workshop. Woodshanti was an obvious partner, as we have collaborated with their incredible team on a number of custom projects, and their work is always sustainable and always impeccable.
We were lucky to have Bill Ridings of California Urban Lumber and Greg Clayton of Restoration Finishing as guest speakers. California Urban Lumber specializes in custom milling of hardwoods that were removed by necessity because of natural mortality, disease or insect damage, new construction, root damage to sidewalks or foundations, wild fire control, and storm damage, while Restoration Finishing specializes in color work for custom cabinetry and production mill work for architectural elements, interiors, new cabinetry, furniture, wood paneling, decorative moldings, and restoration.
The turnout for the night was a unique mix of individuals with a shared interest in sustainability. Chris Ahlman provided great music through out the evening. Attendees included Aleck Wilson of Aleck Wilson Architects, Catrina Cooper of eco6design, Dave Deppen of Ecological Design Collaborative, Eric Edelson of Fireclay Tile, Jacqueline Fink of Koroseal, Torsten Glidden of TJ Glidden Co., Thom Harrison of AlterECO, Rye Hudak of Level 5 Design, Chris Johnson of WoodFirst, Esin Karliova of Studio Karliova, Clark Kayler of New Helvetia Hardwoods, Kathleen Liston of Eco Offsite, Scott McGlashan of McGlashan Architecture, Paul Rozendal of Ceramic Tile Design, to name just a few.
The evening offered an environment where talented people from disparate walks of life made easy new connections, both professional and personal. I know I was inspired to learn about the particular challenges others have faced and overcome, and the new projects they are excited about. For a full set of photos from the event look here!
Stay tuned for the date and location of the next designedCOLLECTIVE event!
If you’d like to be added to our event mailing list or you want to host or speak at an upcoming designedCOLLECTIVE, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you and about your particular interests!