Bookshelves & Hard Optimism 2016
A commissioned essay for Norma (2016).
Norma, an LA-based studio for ‘objects, moveables and spaces,’ was headed to New York City to present their first design object: a modular, flat-pack bookshelf. I was tasked with writing a short, poetic essay that would introduce the studio to attendees at Sight Unseen Offsite, a popular fair that annually coincided with New York Design Week. Anchoring the contents of a beautifully designed sales document, this accessible and slightly unconventional ‘anti-bio bio’ communicated the studio’s central focus: seeking delight within a practice of good living.
“Collaborating with EB is a consistent pleasure. Norma has had the great fortune of working with Erik and his words across several commercial and curatorial pursuits since 2016. Erik brings simultaneous gravity and levity to topics that might otherwise be relegated to the mundane (ex. a sales document for a modular shelving system); and extracts unlikely poetry from seemingly inanimate objects (ex. an essay for a catalog of contemporary bookends), nearly anthropomorphizing his subjects here in ways that somehow feel novel and familiar at the same time.”
— Benjamin Critton & Heidi Korsavong, Co-founders