Shopping Spree

In Blog by Alex Woogmaster

We live in a world of beautiful objects – not all of them obviously so until they are discovered. One of my most relished experiences in design is the search for great, and often hidden works during international travel. Turning a corner off the frozen winter alleys of the Paris Marche aux Puces (flea markets), we often find some of the most incredible artifacts tucked away in unheated shops, one wall open to the winter air. Or we can find extraordinary antiques in the galleries of Venice, or the townhome dealers of Brussels.

The trick is to look lightly. On shopping trips, our senses are barraged with color, material, provenance, age, history. It is not only easy to become disoriented, lost, overwhelmed – it is natural. To survive whole weeks of searching, we’ve learned that we must let our eyes relax a little, stopping only when the glint of something special catches us from afar.

Shopping in such environments – surrounded by so many beautiful, wonderful, at times bizarre heirlooms – is an assignment in Editing. On a given trip, we arrive with a shopping list, and we search for what we need, seeking the extraordinary. And if in the meantime we encounter something we can’t leave without, sometimes we pick that up too: Travel is a great source of inspiration, and it can often be that surprise encounter that shapes the design of a brand new project.

This beats department store shopping by such a degree, I just felt I had to share some snapshots.