We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Brokamp and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I believe as a designer or artist the worst thing you can do is separate life and work. Even though, I am not always literally working I try to always be present and notice little things that could guide a future design forward. I am really drawn to the idea of quietly clever objects that resist the urge to only design for innovation, as beauty is not always groundbreaking. Instead for me it could be a small detail that makes someone smile. Also, whether we as designers notice it or not I think our past experiences have greatly influenced our aesthetic tendencies of today.
My passion outside of design is skateboarding and funny enough this is how I was introduced to design. I grew up drawing skateboard graphics and building skateboard ramps in my driveway. To this day I still try to skateboard as much as possible; I feel like it helps clear my mind if I am having trouble with a piece I am developing.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My practice focuses on bridging a technically refined aesthetic with a lighthearted simplicity that aims to produce objects that are strangely familiar rather than simply mysterious. I studied industrial design at the University of Cincinnati and received a master’s degree in furniture and lighting design at ArtCenter College of Design. I currently work with brands in the United States and overseas to create furniture, lighting, and art objects.
To get to where I am today definitely was not easy and to be honest I am still trying to figure things out. I took a big financial risk in deciding to move out to Los Angeles to attend graduate school at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena; however, I believe this move really set my career in motion and helped get me to where I am today.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in Koreatown and one of my favorite restaurants in the area is Dan Sung Sa. Also, you can’t go wrong with any of the Korean bbq restaurants, my current favorite is probably Quarters.
Since I love skateboarding some of my favorite places to hangout obviously revolve around skateboarding. My two favorite spots in the city are Stoner Skate Plaza and the West LA courthouse. We would also have to stop by Lotties or Non Factory, both of which are amazing skate shops.
My favorite art galleries in the city are Hauser & Wirth and Night Gallery. In addition to these two galleries we would have to stop by Casa Perfect, which is a residential concept gallery that features furniture, lighting and artworks from their roster of American and International artists and designers. The gallery occasionally changes locations to experiment in different architectural settings overlaid with cultural or historical significance.
To round out the trip we would take a drive down to Crystal Cove, which is my favorite beach spot.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my story to two of my graduate school professors from ArtCenter College of Design, David Mocarski and Cory Grosser. In addition to being great professors they are amazing designers who have studios in the Los Angeles area. They both have been champions of my work and without them I would not be where I am today.
Linkedin: Alex Brokamp