Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Victoria Young

This week we introduce you to Victoria Young, one of the founders of Brooklyn’s Tightrope. She holds a strong aesthetic cohesion, world-conscious values, and a bookbag full of science fiction and fantasy in her arsenal. The result is something unusual, warm, and delightful. Enjoy this week’s #MakerMonday.

Sleek, hand-made furniture proves that sustainability and elegance pair well.

Andrew: Describe your design style as if you were explaining it to someone who cannot see.
Victoria Young: The Tightrope design style centers around showcasing natural materials, wood, steel, ceramic, etc We use finishes that reveal the natural beauty of the material without taking away the texture. Our designs feature clean lines and involve a sense of balance. Light and dark, hard and soft, cold and warm. We want to create designs that not only look good but feel good.

Andrew: What is the last book you read?
Victoria: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Probably his second most famous novel next to Fahrenheit 451. The story is written in a chronicle style spanning over a hundred years, all centered around space travel and the colonization of Mars. It was written in 1945 so it should be read with a healthy grain of salt. What I love about the book is the alien imagery and the psychological conundrums Bradbury poses to his readers.

Andrew: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
Victoria: I hope to see sustainability take a leading role in design as far as materials, processes, and functions. It is a trend that is gaining traction, but it would be even more effective to turn it into a design movement. More and more architects are training for LEED and designing passive houses. The maker movement has been growing strong in America backed by talented artists and craftspeople. It has also brought material choice and less toxic manufacturing processes to high design.

Andrew: What’s your design pet peeve?
Victoria: It’s always disappointing to encounter a beautiful design that functions badly. At Tightrope, we embrace the balance that our namesake invokes. Creating a balance between form and function will ensure the design can stand the test of time. I’m all for high concept design, but the best-executed ones have the form working with the function, not impeding it.

Andrew: Are you a pet person? Why either way? Dogs or cats?
Victoria: I am a pet person! I have a rescue mutt that my husband and I adopted 4 years ago named Scotty. I grew up with dogs throughout my life. Although I would consider myself a dog person, I do have an affinity for animals in general. Compassion for animals is a valuable quality to possess because you are more likely to have empathy for others and a better understanding of the world around you. Learning what makes us different can actually bring us together.

Andrew: Who do you want to write your obituary?
Victoria: Terry Pratchett. Although he is not my favorite author, I think he would capture my spirit the best. His writing style has so much personality and wit. I love how he views the human condition. The footnotes, in particular, I would love to read. I’m sure it would be a perfect mix of humorous, clever, and weird.

Andrew: Favorite piece of clothing you own?
Victoria: My 15-year-old jean jacket. It’s been with me for so long and has aged extremely well. Two reasons I love it: First, it’s so versatile! Second, it once put out a pine straw fire at my in-laws’ house! I believe everyone should own at least one jean jacket in their lifetime.

About The Maker | Victoria Young is an artist, designer, and maker originally from Toronto, Canada. From a young age, she had a love for the arts, especially the way it could profoundly impact people. She earned her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she learned woodworking, metalworking, and glassblowing. These skills turned her focus on the importance of materials and craftsmanship in her work. In the Tightrope workshop, Victoria ensures sustainability with materials and practices and attention to detail for all products. She loves working on custom furniture pieces and discussing the possibilities of woodworking.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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