Friday Five with Jenny Wu

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Los Angeles-based Jenny Wu wears many hats in the design arena. First, she’s the founder and design director of LACE by Jenny Wu, a 3D printed line of jewelry, and secondly, she’s a partner at experimental architecture firm Oyler Wu Collaborative, which she formed with Dwayne Oyler in 2004. As if both of those didn’t keep her busy enough, she also teaches first year design studio at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). It’s no surprise the firm won Architectural Record’s 2013 Design Vanguard Award for their innovative and experimental projects, like The Cube, a three-dimensional, steel and rope object for the Beijing Biennale in 2013. Topping all that with a recently published book, Trilogy, SCI-Arc Pavilions, that expresses their architectural ideas related to line-based geometries. She is also a presenter at this year’s Dwell on Design, happening this weekend! Let’s take a look at what keeps this busy designer inspired in this week’s Friday Five.

Image by Dwayne Oyler

Image by Dwayne Oyler

1. Linework drawings by Dwayne Oyler
These ink drawings by my partner, Dwayne Oyler, are an inspiration to me on a daily basis. Each drawing is hand drawn with a roller pen with very little pencil underlay. What I love about these drawings is that they’re not merely graphic as any line drawing would naturally be, but they are intensely spatial. You can understand both foreground and background at the same time, and somehow Dwayne is able to foresee these 3-dimensional entanglements while he is drawing with an ink pen without making mistakes.

Image by Olyer Wu Collaborative

Image by Olyer Wu Collaborative

2. SCI-Arc
SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture) is an experimental architecture school in Los Angeles that I have been teaching at for the past 9 years. This place is pure inspiration, from the passion for design and architecture of the students to avant-garde work of the faculty, even the building itself (a quarter mile long former train depot in the Arts Districts) promotes innovation on every wall. I am rejuvenated every time I step foot in this building and work with these talented students.

Image from Savage Beauty book

Image from Savage Beauty book

3. Alexander McQueen
As a architect who is also working in fashion, the work of Alexander McQueen embodies many of the qualities that I aspire to in my own work. He is able to take interesting juxtaposition of opposites: soft vs. hard, posture vs. movement, and still create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Image by Arlene Hsu

Image by Arlene Hsu

4. Taipei
Taipei is one of the most underrated yet amazing cities in the world, from the friendliness of the people to the intensity of the street life. It is the place I was born and also the place where we will realize our first major building, a 16 story high-rise, in the heart of the city.

Image by 3DS Culinary

Image by 3DS Culinary

5. 3D Printed Confections
I love the beautiful design of these 3D printed confections by 3DS Culinary. They are designed by a former student of ours from Sci-Arc, Kyle and Liz von Hasseln. We are also working with them on the design of a new culinary lab in Los Angeles that will open later this year.