Andrew Wagner is the current Editorial Director of Krrb, a hyperlocal/mega-global marketplace run by design agency Area 17. He hails from California by way of Connecticut. After graduating from Connecticut College with a degree in environmental psychology he jumped headlong into his editorial career in San Francisco helping found Dodge City Journal, LIMN, and Dwell. In 2006 he headed back east, this time to New York City, to help reinvent the august publication, American Craft. Prior to joining Area 17 he served as the editor-in-chief/chief brand officer of ReadyMade.
He is the current “What You Make of It” columnist for the New York Times in which he digs through the refuse of New York with the goal of turning trash into treasure.
Andrew has also penned the forwards for Princeton Architectural Press’ Handmade Nation and Chronicle Books’ It’s Lonely in the Modern World: The Essential Guide to Form, Function, and Ennui from the Creators of Unhappy Hipsters as well as chapters for Phaidon’sVitamin Green series. When he’s not working on Krrb’s global domination you can probably find him playing second base for the semi-professional baseball team, the Downtown Bulls.
REVERSE APPLIQUE AS METAPHOR
Our sewing circle at The Standard, East Village was a rich mixture of folk from a range of professions and diverse lives. Cathy Davidson, one of our first time sewers, has written the most beautiful essay about her time with us and created a fantastic example of Reverse Appliqué as metaphor: Reverse Appliqué @alabamachanin or How the Shallow Distracted and Lonely Pundits Miss the Beauty.
Here you can read just a snippet from her observations on the day:
“We sat quite quietly, talking, introducing ourselves, and, in my case and Ken’s, learning how to do things like: thread a needle (you bring the needle to the thread, not the reverse), tie a knot, love the thread (to get out the kinks and align the polymers in the cotton plys).
Here’s the secret: when the world seems too connected, too overwhelming, too full of work, the hand-work of sewing slows it all down.
Here’s the other secret: all those tiresome handwringing pundits, who think that, because young people (and all the rest of us) spend a lot of time online, that means, ipso facto, that we’ve all become shallow, distracted, and lonely: well, those pundits just need to spend more time–a lot more time–with some of the connected, wired people I know: we wired ones also love to make things. We connected learners also love DIY. Those are not contradictions, they are continuous parts of life. Why don’t the tiresome pundits realize this? Why do they make us into stereotypes, automatons, not complex and multi-dimensional human beings, stitched together in all kinds of ways, by all kinds of circumstances.
Think about the possibilities for the handstitched, the handmade that the Web makes possible. Outlets like Etsy allow handwork and handcraft to thrive by providing a vehicle, without intervention of an overseer or price-gauging middle-man, to reach the people who want it, an online bazaar (the original metaphor of the World Wide Web: it’s not a cathedral–with flying buttresses and other stable architecture but a crowd-making, on-the-fly-suited-to-the-needs bazaar). Heath Pottery thrives now online. Alabama Chanin thrives online. And those of us who live so much of our lives online, also know the preciousness of, well, hand sewing, of reverse application, as metaphor and lifestyle.”
Be sure to read the entire essay here: Reverse Appliqué @alabamachanin or How the Shallow Distracted and Lonely Pundits Miss the Beauty and her brilliant new book, titled Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn.
Thank you to Cathy and everyone who has added their voice to Makeshift 2012.
Join our growing conversation by contributing in the comments section below and by using your voice in your own community…
Standard Penthouse Sewing Circle
Thank you to everyone who came out to The Standard, East Village Penthouse to sew for MAKESHIFT. Here are some images from the day. More of the conversation to come!