Interview: Susan, do Homework Studio. Um escritório de arquitetura e interiores de San Francisco.
Esta semana eu chego em San Francisco para a In Good Company. Uma conferência para mulheres criativas, a maioria mães, criado pela Katie Hintz-Zambrano, founder do Mothermag.com, um site de lifestyle inspirador focado em maternidade. Fazendo minha pesquisa sobre o evento, meu olho bateu em uma cozinha azul escura que eu meu apaixonei e fui descobrir do que se tratava. É a cozinha da Susan e do Ben, marido e mulher, founders do Homework, um escritório de arquitetura e decoração em São Francisco (onde eles moram e trabalham) e que também fazem a produção e decoração do In Good Company. Eu entrevistei a Susan para conhecer mais sobre o lado criativo dela, como é fazer um evento gigante como o In Good Company e ser sócia do marido.
*a entrevista foi feita em inglês, mas você pode traduzir com o google translate no canto superior à esquerda.
SUSAN FROM HOMEWORKS
Q. Your house/office is stunning. That blue kitchen will be on my dreams forever. What was the inspiration behind it?
Well, navy and brass is a timeless combo, and classic too. Very collegiate (blue and gold), and it stands the test of time! We wanted to make a splash and have the kitchen create an impact. The dark color from floor to ceiling, with the complementary brass accents achieves this in our house.
Q. Any of you cook? I'd cook like Julia Stiles on that kitchen. What are your favorite dishes?
We love easy, one-pot dinners. We use our instapot regularly to make hearty and healthy stews with beans, greens, and meat. It feeds the whole family! So quick and easy, yet filling and delicious. Since time is of the essence now more than ever as parents, we look for time-saving solutions in every aspect of life!
Q. How it is like to work with your husband? Did you gave a lot of thought before taking in?
It sounds crazy because we spend so much time together but I love it. He’s my partner, and I want to be him all the time. It so happens that our skill sets are super complementary and our design aesthetic and preferences very similar, so therefore our projects run so smoothly because by bringing both our strengths to the table from different angles, we’re able to take a project that much further. For instance, an idea I generate will become enhanced because he expounds on it and makes it stronger. I generally treasure this type of dynamic and symbiosis in all my personal and professional relationships and feel lucky that I have it right here with my partner in life and love.
Q. How do you handle the partnership at Homework. You all do the same work, like creativity and taking care of the business or there are specific roles?
We definitely have different roles as we have our specific strengths and weaknesses. Where I’m weak, Ben excels, and vice versa. In general, I do more of the biz dev, admin, and day-to-day operations of running the business, and he is the one who zooms out and is able to see the big picture to help direct our financial planning, shape our project timelines, etc. We come together in the Schematic Design phase of a project where we do the intial conceptualizing, rendering, sketching, and building a thoughtful narrative and direction of a project, and then we splinter off into our preferred zones and particular work modes. Also, sourcing architectural finishes and statement lighting is my wheelhouse, whereas Ben is great at getting in the weeds and focusing on the construction details of a project.
Q. You have a young baby. As a mother, do you have any tips for women like you building a business and raising a family at the same time?
Every mother and every baby is so very different, but for me, it so happened that I found myself really needing to be with my baby everyday. I absolutely treasured it. I thought I would outsource so much more child care, but in my son’s first year (which went by very fast) I really ended up loving making his meals, watching him develop and hitting milestones, taking him to story time, and fetching him from his crib every waking moment. In between his naps is when I would get work done. In retrospect, it was an incredible and important first year of parenthood and all the more rewarding because I didn’t miss a beat, but business-wise, it wasn’t very busy. It makes sense that we had fewer design projects because I simply couldn’t make room for them. Now that he’s a bit older and ready for more than I could provide on a day-to-day, he’s getting much more nanny care which frees us up to work more- and I’m ready for it!
Q. When you start a new project, what is the first room you design for?
We first study the floor plan to best understand the user experience of a space. We take great aims to create a flow that is sensible, and then render these spaces by adding materials and color to bring these spaces to life and elicit an emotional response. Incidentally, we always start with the main spaces, so in a residential project it’ll be the Living Room and Kitchen- spaces most conducive to entertaining and families being together, and in a hotel project, it’ll be the Main Lobby.
Q. Homework will be responsible, again, for the setting of In Good Company's coming up event. What are the challenges of working on such a big project?
Event design is very very different from interior design. Both take months to prepare for and produce, but an event is one day, where interior design is permanent. Therefore, the logistics of the execution are very different. Also, it breaks my heart to have to strike all our work down and clean up the space at the end of the event, and leave the room completely empty and clean- as we found it. I’m used to installing plumbing fixtures, stone floors, and wallpaper on a regular basis with the intention of leaving them there forever!
Q. Can you share any inspiration and what we can expect at the event?
This year, we are embracing the cool architecture and the raw details that make the space so desirable- especially the large wall of south-facing windows, where we’ll layer soft florals and greenery on top of said windows that we’ll tint in pastel colors. At Homework we love finding harmony between contrasting elements in all our design work. You’ll see this concept best relayed at this window wall behind the stage where nature seemingly grows out of the building for an unexpected yet delightful moment.
Q. I love the community of women that Mother and In Good Company celebrate. It's so important for us, mothers, to connect with other women feeling the same way. How do you feel about that?
Very true, 100%. What I love about Mother and IGC is exactly that. Women, especially mothers, are yearning for connection to other women now more than ever. For me personally, it’s due to a lack of familial tribe nearby, as many cultures have. It’s incredibly difficult to go through such an incredibly important journey of parenthood without a support system. Finding solace and comfort through other women makes motherhood not only bearable but empowering, enjoyable, and highly rewarding.
Q. Which speakers you can't wait to hear at the event?
A-lan Holt, Jodie Patterson, and Mara Hoffman.
Q. You favorite place to have a nice breakfast in San Francisco?
We are regulars at The Matching Half in NoPa for breakfast bagels and delicious café au laits!
Q. And a cool local store?
Love Decades of Fashion (vintage clothing shop categorically organized by well, decades)
In Good Company Event: KARA BRODGESELL and Mothermag.com
Susan house: PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLE FRANZEN